Police have arrested 22 terrorist suspects following the stabbing of Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto last week.
The 22 people arrested by the National Police’s antiterrorism squad Densus 88 include the suspected perpetrator of the stabbing, identified only as SA, aka Abu Rara, and his wife, FA, who was also at the crime scene in Pandeglang, Banten. The two were detained shortly after the incident on Oct. 10.
The other 20 people are allegedly affiliated with the Islamic State-linked homegrown militant group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) and have sworn loyalty to the group chief, Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi.
“As of Monday afternoon, Densus 88 personnel had conducted preventive strikes against 22 people,” National Police spokesperson Brig. Dedi Prasetyo said on Monday, kompas.com reports.
On the day the incident occurred, the police held a suspect identified only as WBN in Bandung, West Java, and a father and son, AT and ZAI, in Bali.
The next day on Oct. 11, a suspect identified only as S, aka Jack Sparrow, was caught in North Sulawesi, TH in Cengkareng in West Jakarta and R, aka Putra, in Jambi. Dedi said that R was the brains of the group.
“R was the mastermind,” Dedi said.
A suspect identified only as NAS turned himself in to the police in Lampung on Sunday. On the same day, the police arrested A in Central Sulawesi, as well as RF and YF in Indramayu and Cirebon, respectively, in West Java.
The police detained on Monday more suspects in Lampung, namely APS, aka Aris Hidayat, TH, Y, aka Yudistira, MRM, aka Rifki, and UD. The last three suspects, N, JJ and AAs were caught in Bandung.
Regarding the suspected Wiranto attacker, Abu Rara, and his wife, National Intelligence Agency chief Budi Gunawan said last week that the couple had been under the agency’s surveillance for months.
In response to journalists’ questions as to how the attack could happen despite the surveillance, Budi said that JAD worked in cells comprising both lone wolves and small groups.
“There are so many cells, so we also call on the public to help us monitor these cells,” he said.
Immediately after the attack, Wiranto was rushed to Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Central Jakarta where he was treated for stab wounds. (vla)
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