Jakarta twin blasts: Three suspects arrested in Indonesia's West Java region

Indonesian police on Friday arrested three people suspected of being connected to attacks that killed three police at a Jakarta bus station this week, a spokesman said.

AP May 26, 2017 12:40:50 IST
Jakarta twin blasts: Three suspects arrested in Indonesia's West Java region

Indonesian police on Friday arrested three people suspected of being connected to attacks that killed three police at a Jakarta bus station this week, a spokesman said.

Jakarta twin blasts Three suspects arrested in Indonesias West Java region

Indonesia police personnel at blast site in Jakarta. Reuters

Yusri Yunus, head of public relations at West Java Police, confirmed by text message that the arrests had taken place in the West Java city of Bandung, but did not provide details.

Before this, AFP reported that Islamic State (IS) group has claimed responsibility for the twin suicide bombing at a Jakarta bus terminal that killed three policemen, the latest attack to hit Indonesia as it faces a surge in terror plots. Analysts described the claim as credible and said they believed Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a local network of IS-linked militants, carried out the bombing.

Two suicide bombers attacked the busy terminal in the capital on Wednesday in a dramatic assault that sparked panic and left human body parts and shattered glass strewn across the street.

Three policemen were killed, and five other officers and five civilians injured in the bombing at the Kampung Melayu terminal.

Authorities on Thursday raided the houses of the suspected bombers, and found Islamic teaching materials and bladed weapons, AFP reported.

Indonesia has suffered a series of mostly low-level attacks by IS sympathisers in the past 17 months.

While most recent attacks in Indonesia have been poorly organised, authorities believe about 400 Indonesians have joined Islamic State in Syria and could pose a more lethal threat if they come home.

Police said Wednesday's attack had targeted officers, using pressure cookers packed with explosives.

Police have now become the "primary target" of militants in Indonesia, said Stanis Riyanta, a Jakarta-based security analyst.

Police found books of Islamic teachings and bayonets in a raid on the Bandung city home of a 30-year-old seller of herbal medicines who is suspected of carrying out Wednesday's attack.

They also took a DNA sample from the mother of a second suspect, another 30-year-old Bandung man.

Investigators at the blast site found a receipt for a pressure cooker bought on Monday in the capital of the West Java province.

"We wanted to look for instructions at that location, or evidence ... linked to the Kampung Melayu incident," said National Police spokesman Martinus Sitompul.

A similar type of bomb was used in Bandung in February by a lone attacker, killed by police, who was suspected of links to a radical network sympathetic to Islamic State.

"There were similarities," Setyono said, "only yesterday's (attack) had been more perfected."

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