Second Indonesian trying to head to Marawi arrested

Indonesian national police's elite counterterrorism unit, Densus 88, arrested a terrorist suspect who planned to travel to Kuching, Malaysia, and then Marawi in the Philippines to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, said a police source.

Nurul Hadi, 36, was arrested at the departure hall of Supadio international airport in West Kalimantan province at 11am on Monday, the source said.

Colonel Martinus Sitompul, a police spokesman, confirmed the terrorist suspect's name as Nurul but did not provide details.

The police source said Nurul was going to board an Air Asia AK-1029 flight to Kuching International Airport when he was arrested.

Nurul was immediately taken to West Kalimantan police station for further interrogation.

Nurul's arrest comes two weeks after another Indonesian militant was also arrested on a small island on the Indonesia-Philippines border for planning to cross over to join ISIS in Marawi.

The man, identified by Indonesian police by his initials AM, comes from Banten, a neighbouring province of Jakarta.

He had travelled to Bitung, North Sulawesi province, and then on a boat to Sangihe island, in the northernmost part of the province, where he was nabbed.

The Bitung-Sangihe trip usually takes nine hours by ferry.

Then it is another nine hours' trip from Sangihe to General Santos port in the Philippines using a small boat.

During the interrogation, the man admitted that he would cross over to the Philippines, police spokesman Setyo Wasisto told reporters on Nov 13.

Last month, the Philippine security officials declared an end to fierce urban fighting in Marawi, exactly five months after hundreds of pro-ISIS militants stormed the city, in what has become the Philippines' biggest security crisis in years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2017, with the headline 'Second Indonesian trying to head to Marawi arrested'. Print Edition | Subscribe