Police have arrested a suspect accused of planning bomb attacks on government buildings and a “certain embassy” who is also believed to be connected with an Indonesian fighting with Daesh in Syria.
National police spokesman Comm. Rikwanto said Saturday that the anti-terror agency believes the suspected militant had been making explosives more powerful than those used in the 2002 Bali bombings — which killed 202 people — in a small lab at his home in West Java.
“At a certain time, the [attack] target would have been directed at the parliament building, national police headquarters, a certain embassy, television stations, places of worship and cafes,” kompas.com quoted Rikwanto, who like many Indonesians uses one name, as saying.
Anti-terror personnel reportedly found a “huge amount” of explosives at the home of 23-year-old Rio Priatna Wibawa who was arrested earlier this week.
Rikwanto said Wibawa — who had studied agriculture science and is currently unemployed — was part of a “terrorist network” accused of deliberately seeking to target important landmarks in Indonesia in order to draw attention from media worldwide and to show their “anti-democratic” stance.
He added that police are pursuing other alleged members of the network who helped in bomb-making activities and whose “initials are already known”.
Wibawa is accused of being a member of the Jamaah Anshar Khilafah Daulah Nusantara group led by Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian fighting with Daesh in Syria who authorities believe masterminded a fatal attack in Jakarta in January.
“The suspect learned to make explosives from Google, YouTube and through conducting experiments,” said Rikwanto.
Indonesia has been on alert against extremist activities over the past year, further heightening security measures after the January attack left eight people — including four Daesh-linked suspects — dead in the capital.
In 2002, Bali witnessed a series of bombings that that killed 202 people — mostly Australians — in an attack blamed on Jemaah Islamiyah, al-Qaeda’s Southeast Asia affiliate.