Indonesian militant had sword and pipe bombs

Indonesian anti-terrorist forces outside the home of a suspected ISIS supporter in Banten province on Thursday.
Indonesian anti-terrorist forces outside the home of a suspected ISIS supporter in Banten province on Thursday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Man who attacked three cops on Thursday also had contact with jailed cleric, say police

JAKARTA • The Indonesian authorities have said a militant inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who injured three police officers this week on the outskirts of Jakarta had prepared several pipe bombs and owned live ammunition and weapons.

Thursday's attack was the latest in a series of incidents linked to ISIS in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation this year, as concerns grow over a resurgence in home-grown militancy.

Police found bomb-making materials, live ammunition and a samurai sword during a search of the militant's house, a national police spokesman said. "He had prepared several of those pipe bombs," Inspector-General Boy Rafli Amar told a news conference yesterday. "We are now investigating who he has been in communication with."

ISIS yesterday claimed responsibility for the attack through its news agency Amaq.

The attacker, who stabbed three police officers and threw a pipe bomb that failed to detonate, was shot and died from his wounds.

Police confirmed that the attacker, Sultan Aziansyah, 22, was a member of the Indonesian militant group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, which supports ISIS.

The umbrella group, which was formed last year through an alliance of splinter groups backing ISIS, is led by jailed cleric Aman Abdurrahman, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence for aiding a militant training camp.

Police said that investigations showed Sultan had visited Aman with the leader of the Anshorullah Islamic Boarding School, the late Fauzan Al-Anshori, in the Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, in June last year.

Sultan had studied religion at the Anshorullah boarding school, which has a reputation for radicalism, in West Java from June to October last year, before he escaped from the house of his parents who took him home, Inspector-General Boy said.

The authorities believe that ISIS has more than 1,200 followers in Indonesia, and nearly 400 Indonesians have joined the militant group in Syria.

Police are on alert for any Indonesians who return home after Iraqi forces this week launched an offensive to take back the ISIS stronghold of Mosul.

The authorities are monitoring about 40 of those who returned, out of concern that they could be linking up with existing networks, police chief Tito Karnavian told Reuters on Monday.

In January, four militants mounted a gun and bomb attack in the heart of Jakarta, the first attack in South-east Asia claimed by ISIS. Eight people were killed, including the militants.

REUTERS, JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2016, with the headline 'Indonesian militant had sword and pipe bombs'. Print Edition | Subscribe