Terror plot on poll results day thwarted

JAKARTA • Indonesian police said yesterday that the anti-terror squad has arrested a group of militants belonging to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-affiliated cells who had plotted to stage suicide bombings during the announcement of the presidential polls' results this month.

The squad captured the eight alleged terrorists between Thursday last week and Sunday.

Some of them were bomb-makers based in the outskirts of Jakarta as well as the provinces of Lampung and North Sulawesi, national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said.

The alleged militants were members of the outlawed Jamaah Anshurat Daulah (JAD) group, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, he said.

"The cells will take benefit... (of poll announcement) by launching suicide bombing strikes," he told a press conference at the national police headquarters.

Brigadier-General Prasetyo said the militants had planned to use a huge rally, part of an upcoming announcement slated for May 22, as an opportunity to create chaos.

The militants had planned to disguise themselves as protesters.

Police personnel on duty are also among the targets of the militant strikes, said Brig-Gen Prasetyo, adding that high-explosive bombs had been prepared.

In a crackdown near Jakarta on Sunday, the squad gunned down one militant and the bomb strapped to the man's body went off, killing him, Brig Gen Prasetyo said.

Members of the JAD have carried out several terrorist strikes in Indonesia.

These include the multiple suicide attacks in East Java and Riau provinces in May last year, and suicide strikes at a police station and Starbucks Cafe in Jakarta that killed eight people in January 2016, according to the police.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2019, with the headline 'Terror plot on poll results day thwarted'. Print Edition | Subscribe