The National Police’s counterterrorism unit arrested two more suspects following successful raids in Central Java in which it netted three terror suspects, one of whom topped the authorities’ most-wanted list, officials announced on Friday.
The two new suspects, Medi, aka Budianto, 55, and Bintang Juliardhi, 23, were arrested by officers from Densus 88 on Thursday following the capture on Wednesday of Abdullah Sonata, Sogir and Agus Mahmudi. Police have identified Medi as Sogir’s father.
“He lives in Purbalingga in Central Java, but he was with Sogir on Wednesday when we made the initial arrests,” Insp. Gen. Edward Aritonang, a National Police spokesman, said of Medi.
Bintang, meanwhile was arrested in Srengseng Sawah on the outskirts of Jakarta near Depok.
“We believe he helped Sofyan Tsauri hide Sonata,” Edward said, referring to the former police officer who is also accused of selling weapons to militants in Aceh earlier this year.
Sonata, who was until his arrest the country’s most-wanted terror suspect, was captured on Wednesday in a raid in Boyolali district in Central Java, while Sogir and Agus were arrested in neighboring Klaten district.
All three have been linked to a militant network that held training camps in Aceh, which police began targeting in February. Police suspect the group, which has alleged links to militants in China, the Middle East and the southern Philippines, was preparing a Mumbai-style attack on key targets in Indonesia.
Sonata, a close associate of slain terrorist mastermind Noordin M Top, was sentenced to seven years in jail in 2006 for hiding Noordin and for possessing illegal firearms. He was released in April 2009 on good behavior.
Edward said police had recovered eight already-prepared bombs during Wednesday’s raids, as well as various bomb-making equipment. They also recovered two homemade air rifles with scopes, two .38-caliber handguns, an airgun, two plastic bags containing ammunition, a sword and five hunting knives.
Edward said the suspects planned to attack a police target on July 1, the force’s 64th anniversary, as well as the Royal Danish Embassy, ostensibly in retaliation for cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by a Danish newspaper in 2005.
The cartoons prompted widespread protests in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, and the Danish ambassador was forced to temporarily leave the country after receiving death threats.
Meanwhile, the Danish government said it wold step up security at its mission in Jakarta in the wake of the raids.
“Extremists will not succeed in making us leave,” Foreign Minister Lene Espersen told Danish television station TV2 News on Thursday. “There is no doubt that there is a growing focus on Denmark,” she added.
Espersen also said Danish intelligence service PET would take “new measures to ensure adequate security of personnel” at the embassy in Jakarta.
PET chief Jakob Scharf said intelligence officers were currently on their way to Jakarta to assist Indonesian authorities with their investigations.