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Indonesien Selbstmordanschlag in Jakarta
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/A. Lutfi

Militant arrested for planning Jakarta attacks

November 26, 2016

Indonesian police have arrested a man suspected of planning a bomb attack on Myanmar's embassy in Jakarta. The material used could have made bombs much bigger than the ones used in the Bali bombings in 2002.


Police in Indonesia have arrested a suspected Islamist militant for making explosives to be used in a string of attacks, including one on the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta.

National Police spokesman Rikwanto said Saturday that 23-year-old Rio Priatna Wibawa was believed to be linked to Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian group that supports the so-called "Islamic State" (IS).

Wibawa is a dropout from an agricultural university and received funding from radicalized Indonesians in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Taiwan and was working under Bahrun Naim, according to Rikwanto.

Seized bomb-making materials included RDX, a component in plastic explosives, TNT, HMTD, an explosive peroxide and gunpowder. The amount of explosives seized from Wibawa's home in Majalengka town could have resulted in an explosion more than twice as powerful as the bombing that killed 202 people in a Bali nightclub in 2002.

Another police spokesman said Wibawa was going to use the explosives in attacks on government buildings in December. Other potential targets included the parliament building, police headquarters, television stations, places of worship and cafes. Authorities are on the lookout for accomplices who were also involved in making bombs. Bahrun Naim is believed to have inspired an attack in Jakarta in January

There has been a significant crackdown on Islamist militantism since the 2002 bombing that was carried out by al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah, which rounded up hundreds of suspected militants.

There is a growing concern about a resurgence in radicalism, with hundreds of IS sympathizers in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world.

There is also mounting pressure from Muslim-majority countries in southeast Asia over a crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which has fueled demonstrations in several cities, including Jakarta.

kbd/sms (AP, Reuters)

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