JAKARTA, Dec 20 – Indonesian police have arrested a man suspected of involvement in a bomb plot during the year-end holidays, but are keeping the details scant. The suspect, identified by the nom de guerre Abu Karim, was arrested last night (Dec 19) at a rented house in Sukoharjo district, Central Java, by the National Police’s counter-terrorism squad, Densus 88, according to local police.
A source in Densus 88, who asked not to be named, told the Jakarta Globe that police were led to Abu Karim by a suspected bomber arrested earlier. The source did not say where or when the suspected bomber was arrested, or what their purported target was.
“We suspect (Abu Karim) was involved in hiding the suspected bomber who we arrested earlier,” the source said. “So far we’ve arrested six individuals in connection with a plot to bomb (targets in) Java and Sumatra. Fortunately we were able to get them before they could act.”
Asked if the group had been planning to attack Christmas or New Year’s Eve gatherings, the Densus source said only that the suspected bomb plot was to have been carried out “very soon”. “They’re a mixed group influenced by ISIS,” the source added, referring to an acronym of the Sunni militant group Islamic State. Among the evidence we seized (from Abu Karim’s house) were bomb-making materials.”
These included detonators, several lengths of piping, nails and buckshot, and various volatile chemicals. Officers also found a book on jihad, a bomb-making manual and a map of the Greater Jakarta area. Senior officials had earlier this week warned of a possibly elevated threat of terror attacks during the year-end period. Security has been beefed up at churches nationwide, while the president and the police chief have asked that public celebrations during both Christmas and New Year’s Eve be kept low-key.