West Java cops foil terror plot against Jokowi - the second in over a month

President Joko Widodo is scheduled to visit Cirebon city today, where the suspect was nabbed near a helicopter landing pad with five petrol bombs and other weapons. He was identified as a member of terror network JAD.
President Joko Widodo is scheduled to visit Cirebon city today, where the suspect was nabbed near a helicopter landing pad with five petrol bombs and other weapons. He was identified as a member of terror network JAD.PHOTO: REUTERS
The militant had five Molotov cocktails, a bayonet, an Airsoft replica of a pistol and a note with an invitation for jihad.
The militant had five Molotov cocktails, a bayonet, an Airsoft replica of a pistol and a note with an invitation for jihad.PHOTO: DETIK

Police in West Java yesterday foiled a plot to attack President Joko Widodo and his security detail, after they arrested a 31-year-old militant with five petrol bombs.

The suspect was nabbed near a helicopter landing pad at Penggung Airport in Cirebon, a city in West Java province.

President Joko, better known as Jokowi, is scheduled to visit the city today to attend a cultural festival.

Preliminary investigations indicated that the suspect, identified by the police by the initials "IM", is a member of the Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a local terrorist network with ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The JAD has been behind a series of attacks in Indonesia recently.

West Java police spokesman Umar Surya Fana told Detik News that aside from the petrol bombs, the suspect was also carrying, among other items, a bayonet, an Airsoft replica of a pistol, as well as a note with an invitation to engage in armed struggle.

This is the second attempt by JAD militants in just over a month to attack the President and police officers.

Indonesian counter-terrorism police on Aug 15 also foiled a plot to attack the Istana Negara presidential palace in Jakarta with "chemical bombs" after they arrested five suspects during a raid in Bandung, also in West Java.

The suspects, said to be members of a local JAD cell, included a married couple who were deported from Hong Kong recently after being caught for allegedly spreading extremist ideology.

The terror plot was uncovered by officers from the police counter- terrorism unit Densus 88 when they raided a house in Antapani, a small village in Bandung.

Among the items found in the house were chemicals that the suspects had planned to use in home- made bombs, said the police.

The arrest in Bandung came just two days before Indonesia celebrated its 72nd Independence Day on Aug 17.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2017, with the headline 'West Java cops foil terror plot against Jokowi - the second in over a month'. Print Edition | Subscribe