Islamic State-linked militant group behind Jakarta blast: Sources

Islamic State-linked militant group behind Jakarta blast: Sources

Indonesia cordon off human remains
Indonesian police officers clear the area around the site of an explosion in Jakarta on May 24, 2017. (Photo: AP/Dita Alangkara)

JAKARTA: The Islamic State-linked group, Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), is believed to be behind the suicide bombings at a busy bus terminal in East Jakarta on Wednesday night (May 24), according to Indonesian and regional security sources.

Both suicide bombers were from JAD, an Indonesian security source told Channel NewsAsia.

JAD, which was classified as a terrorist organisation by the US State Department in January this year, was formed in 2015 and is based in Indonesia. It is made up of almost two dozen Indonesian extremist groups that pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

JAD is headed by imprisoned Muslim cleric Aman Abdurrahman who is accused of masterminding last January's attack in central Jakarta. 

In Wednesday night's attack at the Kampung Melayu bus terminal, one of the suicide bombers was identified as 31-year-old Ahmad Sukri alias Abu Hasan. "Ahmad is a member of JAD in Bandung," a regional security source told Channel NewsAsia.

Ahmad is also known to have been in touch with JAD’s leader. “Ahmad visited Aman Abdurrahman and Rois in prison back in 2014,” the source added. 

Rois is currently on death row for his role in the Australian Embassy car bombing in 2004. But even from behind bars, he was recently able to communicate with militants outside prison to plan a Mumbai-style terror attack, which police foiled.

The other suicide bomber was identified as Ichwan Nurul Salam who is also a member of JAD, said the regional source.

More than 500 Indonesians are known to have made their way to Syria to fight with IS, while those in Indonesia who have pledged allegiance to the group have been behind a series of recent plots and attacks, many of which are targeted at the police.

In a televised address on Thursday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said he has ordered a thorough probe and urged "all citizens across the nation to stay calm and remain united".

"I convey my deepest condolences to the victims and their families - especially the police officers who passed away while performing their duty," he added.

Source: CNA/ec