JAKARTA: Indonesian police have arrested nine suspected terrorists during simultaneous operations across the country.
According to local news portal Detik.com on Tuesday (Oct 24), the raids were carried out in four provinces - East Java, South Sulawesi, Riau and Central Java.
In East Java, the counter-terrorism squad arrested a man suspected of having ties with Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant in Syria who reportedly founded Katibah Nusanatara, the Islamic State group's Southeast Asian unit. He is also fighting alongside IS in Syria.
"They have made a telegram group or their own social media (group) called 'Kulak Tahu'. Bahrun Naim is also in the group," said National Police spokesman Rikwanto.
Two people were arrested in Central Java, one of whom is suspected of providing funds for a group led by an extremist named Hendro Fernando, who reportedly has ties to the East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) militant group.
The group's leader was Santoso, Indonesia's most wanted terrorist before he was killed in a gunfight with security officers last year.
One suspect was arrested in South Sulawesi for his suspected involvement in an attempted bombing of the governor of South Sulawesi in 2012.
Five people were also arrested in Riau province.
HOUSE RAIDED IN RIAU
Police said four of the five suspects in Riau were arrested in Kampar Regency and Pekanbaru City.
According to local media reports, a spokesperson for Riau police said a house associated with the four suspects had been raided. Police reportedly recovered weapons, documents, religious books, mobile phones and a savings book.
“Investigations are ongoing,” said police spokesperson Guntur Aryo Tejo. “The four are a part of the Jamah Anshor Daulah group,” he was quoted as saying in a report by state-run news agency, Antara.
A preliminary investigation showed that the suspects were planning to attack a number of police posts and offices in Pekanbaru.
Additionally, the four have links to members of a network arrested in Jambi province in Central Sumatra, as police allege that they learned to assemble and make bombs in Jambi. The four suspects will be taken to Jakarta.