Roundup: Police foil bomb attack plans targeting vital targets in Indonesia

JAKARTA, -- Indonesian police's anti-terror squad Special Detachment 88 (Densus 88) has foiled attack plans targeting vital targets in the capital city, including the presidential palace.

The anti-terror squad confiscated a bomb that would be used in the attack, and is now pursuing two suspects after arresting four, including a female terrorist suspect.

The bomb was found in a dormitory house rented by the female suspect, which is located in Bekasi, an outskirt city of Jakarta, on Saturday. Two of her accomplices were arrested in East Jakarta later in the day.

Another suspect, identified as the bomb assembler, was arrested in Karanganyar, close to the city of Solo in Central Java on the same day.

"Two other suspects remain at large. There could be more suspects, depending on results of the developing investigation," a police spokesperson, AwiSetiyono, said on Sunday, adding that the pursuit is now under way in several cities in Central and East Java provinces.

Police said the bomb assembled by the terrorist cell members is so powerful that it can flatten houses in a radius of 300 meters.

Recruiting females to carry out attacks was a new method used by terrorists operating in the country as there had been no female involved in such attacks.

"The point is they are looking for people willing to do so," Awi said.

Police have found a letter that the female suspect wrote to her family, containing her farewell note related to her plan to commit a suicide bombing.

Police said the cell planning the attacks against vital targets in the capital had intense communication with BahrunNaim, an Indonesian militant fighter joining the Islamic State (IS).

Police added that the cell received fund transfers from Naim to finance the bomb assembling and the attacks in Jakarta. BahrunNaim, who is in Syria, was reported to have close links with IS senior figures.

Indonesian President JokoWidodo expressed his appreciation over the quick moves by the Densus 88 squad in foiling the attack plans.

The latest arrests against the terror cell showed that the danger of terrorism is still real in the nation, the president said.

"I ask people to actively take part in the efforts to combat terrorism. Without people's active participation it would be hard to curb terrorism," the president said here on Sunday.

Indonesia has seen several events related to intensive terror and radicalism activities this year. A deadly attack linked to BahrunNaim occurred at an American cafe in downtown Jakarta in January, killing eight civilians and the attackers.

Police had also foiled an attack on Singapore's Marina Bay from neighboring Indonesia's island of Batam in August, which was also connected with BahrunNaim.

Source: Philippines News Agency