Indonesian police shoot suspected militant who slashed on-duty officer

JAKARTA • A suspected militant launched an attack on an Indonesian police station in the country's second-biggest city, slashing one officer with a sickle, before being shot and taken into custody, police officials said yesterday.

The 30-year-old suspect entered the police station in East Java's Surabaya last Saturday afternoon - Indonesia's Independence Day - and attacked the officer on duty, according to a police intelligence report confirmed by East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera.

A second officer suffered a bruised face during the incident, the report said.

National police spokesman Iqbal Alqudusy said the suspect appeared to have been acting alone and that he had become radicalised by reading material posted online by Aman Abdurahman, a militant who was sentenced to death last year for masterminding a string of deadly militant attacks across Indonesia.

Abdurahman is considered the ideological leader of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a loose grouping of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sympathisers in Indonesia.

The police officer who was slashed was being treated in hospital. It was unclear what injuries the attacker had sustained.

Indonesia, which is the world's biggest Muslim-majority country, is grappling with a resurgence in militancy.

The government scrambled to tighten its anti-terrorism laws after a series of suicide bombings linked to JAD cells killed more than 30 people in Surabaya last year.

Hundreds of people have been detained under the new laws since the beginning of this year.

Last month, the police said the authorities had arrested a suspected militant plotting Independence Day bomb attacks and they believed he was part of a network, behind violence in the Philippines, that also has ties to ISIS in Afghanistan.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2019, with the headline 'Indonesian police shoot suspected militant who slashed on-duty officer'. Print Edition | Subscribe