Indonesia woman planning to be suicide bomber worked in Singapore

Dian Yulia Novi, 27, was arrested in an anti-terror raid last week for plotting to attack the presidential palace in the capital.
Dian Yulia Novi, 27, was arrested in an anti-terror raid last week for plotting to attack the presidential palace in the capital.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TVONE INTERVIEW
Dian Yulia Novi, 27, was arrested in an anti-terror raid last week for plotting to attack the presidential palace in the capital.
Dian Yulia Novi, 27, was arrested in an anti-terror raid last week for plotting to attack the presidential palace in the capital.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TVONE INTERVIEW

JAKARTA - A woman who was planning to be a suicide bomber had worked in Singapore as a maid.

Dian Yulia Novi, 27, was arrested in an anti-terror raid last week for plotting to attack the presidential palace in the capital.

In an interview with TVOne news channel, which was broadcast on Tuesday, Dian said she was first exposed to radical Islam through Facebook while working as a maid abroad.

"On Facebook, I opened profiles of jihadists, who had inspired me," she told TVOne senior reporter Ecep S. Yasa.

"I did not join any groups, just looked through, but became more curious." She was interviewed while in custody.

Dian said she also collected articles and audio clips of religious teachings on the Internet.

The woman, from Cirebon in West Java, said she had worked in Singapore for 1½ years for a household with three children, aged five, nine and 11 years old. Local media said she had worked in Singapore in 2014.

Dian said she had also worked as a maid in Taiwan for three years. She said she was "active" on social media and spoke in English while in the Republic. While working as a maid, she said wore the headscarf but not a veil and had never taken a day off, she said.

Dian is one of two women from the same cell who were nabbed by police while planning to suicide bomb the office complex of President Joko Widodo.

When asked in the TV interview if she did not fear God's wrath for wanting to hurt people on a massive scale, she said: "This suicide bombing is not about me feeling hopeless and wanting to end my life, but to get the blessing from God and get priority in jihad fisabilillah," she said. It is an Arabic expression which means "struggle for the sake of Allah".

She said she was introduced to her future husband, Nur Solihin, one of the three people arrested in the raid on Saturday, by somebody on social media and she communicated with him on Telegram. 

They got married three months ago. She knew he was married and has children. 

The couple never exchanged photographs or met each other. In fact, she did not even turn up for her wedding, only sending a representative for the marriage solemnisation, she said.

Dian was arrested last Saturday, just minutes after two men who delivered the bomb were ambushed by Densus 88 in East Jakarta. A fourth man who made the rice cooker bomb was later caught in Karanganyar, Central Java.