Jakarta attack

Jakarta blasts: Shooter trained in paramilitary camp

A gunman in Thursday's attack in Jakarta believed to be Sunakim. Police said they recognised him from their own records but DNA testing is now under way to confirm his identity.
A gunman in Thursday's attack in Jakarta believed to be Sunakim. Police said they recognised him from their own records but DNA testing is now under way to confirm his identity.PHOTO: XINHUA

Wearing a baseball cap, T-shirt, jeans and carrying a backpack, Sunakim easily blended into the crowd in Thamrin boulevard.

No one noticed him but that changed after images of him brazenly shooting into the crowd and gunning down policemen sent chills down the spines of those following the news of Thursday's attack in Jakarta.

Indonesian police said yesterday that Sunakim, who went by the alias Afif, was known among counter-terrorist agents after serving time in 2010 for receiving weapons training at a paramilitary camp in Aceh province. The camp, set up by militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, was shut after it was raided by police, who arrested members of the group following a fierce gun battle which left three officers and a villager dead.

Very little is known about the Javanese, but he was believed to have been recently released from prison.

He was one of the five militants who were killed after mounting the strike on a Starbucks cafe and police post located at a busy junction in central Jakarta. Police said they recognised him from their own records but DNA testing is now under way to confirm his identity and that of his four other accomplices.

The identities of the remaining four militants have also been established, but police declined to release further details until the DNA results are out.

Francis Chan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2016, with the headline 'Shooter trained in paramilitary camp'. Print Edition | Subscribe