National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. M. Iqbal, center, speaks at a press conference on Friday to announce the uncovering of an alleged plot by members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah to detonate bombs among protestors in Central Jakarta on May 22, when the General Elections Commission (KPU) is due to announce the results of the April 17 elections. (B1 Photo/Farouk Arnza)
Police Uncover Plot to Detonate Bombs Among Crowd Outside KPU Offices Next Week
BY : OKTAVIANA MARIA & FAROUK ARNAZ & TELLY NATHALIA
MAY 17, 2019
Jakarta. Police have uncovered an alleged plot by members of an Islamic State-affiliated group to detonate bombs in front of the offices of the General Elections Commission, or KPU, in Central Jakarta on May 22.
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. M. Iqbal said at a press conference in Jakarta on Friday that the militants, who are members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), want to use the momentum of a planned mass protest by supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto against the KPU's announcement of the official results of the April 17 presidential and legislative elections.
He urged members of the public to avoid the area.
During Friday's press conference, police presented eight suspected terrorists who allegedly assembled several bombs to detonate by remote control among the crowd on the day, if the planned protest materialized.
The National Police's elite anti-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, has arrested 29 suspected terrorists in a series of raids in West Java, Central Java, East Java and Lampung so far this month. One suspected terrorist detonated an explosive device, killing himself, when police tried to arrest him.
Among those are seven returnees from Syria, who were arrested in raids in Central and East Java earlier this week.
"We don't want there to be a crowd of people [outside the KPU offices]. Imagine if there are just 100, how many victims there would be. We cannot underestimate [the members of JAD]. We keep working. We cannot give any assurances whether all members of the group have been arrested, or whether some are still out there. Detachment 88 is continuing its work," Iqbal said.
"I, as the National Police spokesman, urge people to not stage [the planned protest rally] on May 22," he emphasized.
In a police video seen by the Jakarta Globe, a terror suspect makes a clear statement on the planned attack.
"My name is Dede Yusuf, a.k.a Jondi, a.k.a Bondan. I lead several fellow Muslim brothers to conduct an amaliah [charity activity] on May 22 by using bombs that I have assembled [and which will be] detonated by remote control. We all know a crowd of people will gather [in front of the KPU offices] on that day, which I think will be a perfect moment to conduct an amaliah [an attack], because there will be 'parties of democracy' there, which, based on my religious perspective, is considered a major shirk that could jeopardize one's faith as a Muslim. And it would be a gift from Allah to me if I can be freed from such shirk," the suspect says in the 59-second video.
The police's anti-terrorism unit has arrested 68 terror suspects in a series of raids in Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Kalimantan since the start of this year. Eight were killed, including a woman who blew herself and her two children up in Sibolga, North Sumatra, in March to avoid arrest.
All the suspects are affiliated with JAD, which the government has labeled a terrorist organization.
Police discovered several homemade bombs containing highly explosive triaceton triperoxide, colloquially known as "Mother of Satan," during raids in Bekasi, West Java, in May. Five bombs have been prepared so far to be detonated on May 22.
Police have also seized bows and arrows, firearms and various materials used for making explosives.
Iqbal said two of the Syria returnees received explosives training in Aleppo, while several of them fought for Islamic State.