KUALA LUMPUR: An Indonesian militant on death row for his role in the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing in Jakarta directed the procurement of several M16 assault rifles from behind the walls of the Nusakambangan maximum security prison in Central Java, a senior counter-terrorism source told Channel NewsAsia.
Iwan Darmawan, also known as Rois, is alleged to have ordered a 45-year-old man with the initials "SM" to go to the southern Philippines to purchase weapons and to make contact with the notorious Hapillon Isnilon, leader of the Abu Sayyaf group.
“Rois ordered SM to go back and forth (to) southern Philippines a total of seven times to buy weapons and to make contact with Hapilon Isnilon in the Philippines,” the source told Channel NewsAsia.
“SM has bought 17 M16s and one M14,” said the source.
The discovery comes following the arrest of eight male suspects from the Islamic State-linked Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) on Thursday (Mar 23) in raids in several cities in West Java. One of the suspects was shot dead when he tried to ram his car into the police when they tried to arrest him.
The US State Department has labelled JAD a "specially designated global terrorist" organisation. JAD is composed of nearly two dozen Indonesian extremist groups that have pledged allegiance to Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi.
The source did not state if the rifles were seized during the raid, but said at least five pistols had been smuggled into the country, two of which were used in the last year's terror attack in central Jakarta which killed four people.
“Two of the pistols have been used for the Jakarta terror attack. SM has knowledge of the attack which he also helped fund,” said the source. “He is building an Indonesian terror network to link with southern Philippines.”
Last year, Indonesia's then security minister Luhut Panjaitan revealed Rois was linked to the Jakarta attacks but he did not say what role he played.
The source added that the man killed in the raid on Thursday, was a weapons instructor with the initials "NK".
“He had plans to conduct paramilitary training on Halmahera (island) to replace Poso in Central Sulawesi as (a) paramilitary training camp,” the source said.
Poso is said to be a training camp for Islamic State militants. A militant named Santoso led the stronghold until his killing by security forces last year.