Police seize weapons from Batam terror suspects' homes

An Indonesian anti-terror police squad searches for evidence during a raid at a residential area in Batam Center, Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia, on August 5.
An Indonesian anti-terror police squad searches for evidence during a raid at a residential area in Batam Center, Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia, on August 5.PHOTO: EPA

Indonesian police have named five men from a Batam terror group, including its leader who plotted to fire a rocket into Singapore's Marina Bay, as suspects in terror activities.

They also seized weapons, including a bow-and-arrow set, an air rifle and airsoft guns, from their homes.

The bow-and-arrow set, several bank books, cash, a camera and personal documents were confiscated from alleged mastermind Gigih Rahmat Dewa's house.

An airsoft gun modified to resemble an AK-47 assault rifle was found hidden in the attic of the house belonging to another cell member, Eka Saputra.

Police also took an air rifle, an airsoft gun, and a notebook and a computer's central processing unit from the house of another suspect, Trio Syafrido.

All five men belong to a little- known terror cell called Katibah GR, or "Cell GR", national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told reporters yesterday. They were arrested in anti-terror raids last Friday.

The men, aged 20 to 46, are accused of sheltering suspected Uighur militants. Gigih also allegedly received and channelled funds for radical activities and aided Indonesians to go to Syria to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.

"The digital team is now examining data which might contain (electronic) conversations among the group members," said Mr Boy Rafli. He said the men are still being held in Batam, as police continue to gather more physical evidence and analyse the extent of the group's network.

"The members have not opened up to us yet. We must understand that we cannot simply solve everything here and now," he said.

"There's something that they are still hiding from us," he added. "We are still investigating and are trying our best."

Indonesia today kicks off a counter-terrorism conference in Nusa Dua, Bali, which will discuss how to curb cross-border terrorism and radicalism and strengthen international cooperation.

Vice-President Jusuf Kalla is expected to deliver a keynote speech at the International Meeting on Counter-Terrorism, which is jointly organised with Australia.

Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam will be among 300 representatives from 21 countries attending the meeting.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2016, with the headline 'Police seize weapons from Batam terror suspects' homes'. Print Edition | Subscribe