JAKARTA - Police in Indonesia's West Java on Monday (Sept 18) foiled a plot to attack President Joko Widodo and his security detail, after they arrested a 31-year-old militant with five Molotov cocktails, or petrol bombs.
The suspect was nabbed near a helicopter landing pad at Penggung Airport in Cirebon, a city in West Java province, where President Joko, better known as Jokowi, was visiting on Tuesday for a cultural festival.
Preliminary investigations indicate 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 also been behind a series of attacks in Indonesia recently.
West Java police spokesman Umar Surya Fana told Detik News that aside from the Molotov cocktails, the suspect was also carrying, among other items, a bayonet, an Airsoft replica of a pistol, as well as a note with an invitation for jihad.
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, include 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 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 celebrates its 72nd Independence Day on Aug 17.