Indonesia: Militant’s arrest reveals plots, links to ISIS
JAKARTA: Indonesian police said on Tuesday that a suspected militant arrested last week was plotting Independence Day bomb attacks, and they suspect he was part of a network behind the violence in the Philippines that has ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Afghanistan.
Indonesia's anti-terrorism unit Densus 88 arrested the suspect in West Sumatra, national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told a news conference.
The suspect, identified as Novendri, was a member of the ISIS-inspired Jemaah Ansharut Daulah group, which was banned in Indonesia last year.
The authorities believe Novendri was planning bomb attacks, including on two police headquarters in the city of Padang in West Sumatra, and other police posts on Indonesia's Independence Day, on Aug 17.
Police displayed a chart at the news conference, setting out the suspected foreign links of Indonesian militants including a leader, identified as Saefulah, believed to be based in an area of Afghanistan where ISIS militants operate.
According to Mr Prasetyo, some Indonesian militants had tried to reach Afghanistan after the defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Another Indonesian on the chart, who was arrested in the city of Bekasi in West Java, was suspected of planning a suicide attack in Jakarta during protests in May over the election, said Mr Prasetyo.
Police think the network had links to militants in the Philippines and helped a married couple there from Indonesia's Sulawesi island.
The authorities believe the couple carried out a suicide attack on a cathedral on Jolo island in the Philippines in February, in which 22 people were killed.
Mr Prasetyo said Indonesian anti-terrorism officers were working with police from countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, Afghanistan, the US and Australia in their investigation. - REUTERS