Indonesia: Densus 88 Kills Suspected Militant, Nabs 7 Others

Arie Firdaus
170323_ID_suspects_1000.jpg Indonesian police prepare for a security patrol around Kuta, a tourist area Kuta in Bali, March 23, 2017.

Indonesian counter-terrorist police shot and killed a suspected Islamic State-linked militant on Thursday and arrested seven others in provinces bordering Jakarta, officials said.

Nanang Kosim died during a shootout with members of the Densus 88 squad when he and three other suspects who were traveling in two cars tried to escape an ambush in Cilegon, a city in Banten province, police said.

National Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said police knew of Nanang because he aided in hiding a terrorist tied to an attack in Jakarta that killed eight people in January 2016 – the first terror act claimed by Islamic State (IS) in Southeast Asia.

Nanang also helped a militant who tossed a Molotov cocktail that killed a toddler and injured three children in front of a church in East Kalimantan province in November 2016, according to Boy.

“He allegedly was linked to JAD Network,” said Boy, referring to the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) extremist group which pledged to IS. JAD’s leader is imprisoned Muslim cleric Aman Abdurrahman who is classified by the United States as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

The other suspects in Thursday’s shootout in Banten, identified as Achmad Supriyanto, Icuk Pamulang and Abdul Majid, who was shot in the leg, are in custody.

“Achmad and Icuk surrendered without resistance when arrested,” National Police spokesman Boy told BenarNews.

Nanang and Abdul, who were traveling in a different car, struck a police vehicle. The two ignored a warning shot, forcing officers to open fire on them, Boy said.

Officers found and secured a gun in one of the cars.

The Cilegon ambush occurred several hours after four other alleged militants were taken into custody in West Java province.

Arrests began around 5 a.m. in Tanjung Baru, a village in West Java, when officers captured Abu Ridho (alias Suryadi Mas’ud).

Three hours later, another suspected militant, Mulyadi, was arrested in Pandeglang, Banten.

At 1 p.m., Densus 88 officers arrested suspected militant Adi Jihadi in the same area. At the same time, suspected militant Bambang Eko Prasetyo Aria was arrested in Ciputat, South Tangerang, Banten.

“So, in total there are eight. One of them died,” Boy said.

Nanang’s past

Boy said Nanang also served as an instructor of a military training camp organized by JAD in Malang, East Java, in November  2015.

Police said he planned an upcoming training camp in Halmahera, in North Maluku province, in preparation to replace the Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) militant group in Central Sulawesi province weakened by the killing of its leader, Santoso, in July 2016.

Boy also linked suspects Suryadi and Bambang to JAD, adding that Suryadi knew of last year’s Jakarta attack and purchased firearms that ended up in the hands of JAD members.

“Two of the firearms were used for the Thamrin terror act,” said Boy, referring to the Jakarta attack.

Bambang, according to the police spokesman, was involved in a military training camp in the southern Philippines. Boy did not have additional information about Bambang or the other suspects.

Thursday’s actions added to the list of suspected terrorists arrested by Densus 88. In the first two months of 2017, officers arrested at least five alleged terrorists. Since December, police have shot and killed at least six people while attempting to arrest them.

National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said at least 160 people with alleged ties to IS were arrested in Indonesia in 2016.

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