Inmate and police officers killed during standoff at maximum security lock-up outside Jakarta

JAKARTA - Negotiations are ongoing for the release of an anti-terror police officer being held by armed terrorist inmates following overnight clashes at a maximum security police lock-up outside Jakarta.

One inmate and five anti-terror police officers were killed after the group of inmates broke out of their cell and held officers hostage.

The condition of the police officer still in their hands was not known.

“Negotiations are ongoing. As part of negotiation tactics, we don’t set a deadline. We hope to reach an agreement,” chief spokesman Inspector General Setyo Wasisto told reporters at a 6pm press conference, some 20 hours after the clashes had broken out.

Insp Gen Setyo said the inmates still had the weapons they had taken from a storeroom in the facility.

The inmate who was killed was identified as Beni Samsu Trisno alias Abu Ibrahim Syamsurela. The 31-year-old was arrested last October in Kampar, Riau province.

Police deployed reinforcements from the military to the detention centre at the headquarters of the police mobile brigade (Brimob)  in Kelapa Dua, an area in West Java province that borders Jakarta. The road outside the Brimob headquarters was blocked, while stores, restaurants and other business activities in the vicinity were told to close early for the day.

Around 10pm on Tuesday, a mob took control of parts of the Brimob’s detention facility, police said. At least six assault rifles and five pistols were taken from a storeroom used for confiscated items from past raids, a police source told The Straits Times yesterday.

The source said the mayhem was sparked when an inmate, Wawan Kurniawan, alias Abu Afif, a member of the Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) terrorist group, became furious that guards would not allow visiting family members to give him food on Tuesday. Brig-Gen Iqbal confirmed that the clashes were triggered by a misunderstanding when the officers required the meals to be inspected.

Around 8pm on Tuesday, Wawan incited other inmates to try to break free. A group of five to 10 inmates in a cell applied pressure on their cell door and managed to break it open. Most of them were supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

They then stormed into an interrogation room where a female police officer was attending to a newly-arrived inmate. They snatched her weapon and beat her up.

The group went into the storeroom for confiscated items and took the weapons there. They attacked other officers and held them hostage for hours.

Several inmates had mobile phones and posted videos of the standoff on the Telegram messaging application. The mob, according to the police source, posted videos to several Telegram channels, including Selamat Dunia Akhirat, which translates to “stay safe on earth and in heaven”, Al-Hujaraat and Ganti Presiden, or “change the President”.

Police have started investigations to determine if they used mobile phones previously smuggled into the facility or took the phones of the officers held hostage.

The maximum security lock-up currently houses radical Islamic cleric Aman Abdurrahman, the founder of JAD, who ongoing trial is expected to see a verdict passed in the coming weeks.

Aman, who pledged allegiance to ISIS, was charged on Feb 15 with inciting others to commit various terror attacks in Indonesia, including an attack in Jakarta in 2016 that left four bystanders dead.

Former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is serving a controversial two-year jail term for blasphemy, is also being held in this maximum security facility.