High profile militant nabbed before suicide attack in Indonesia

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-13 20:33:26|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

JAKARTA, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian National Police's anti-terror squad on Wednesday arrested a high profile militant hours before a suicide attack in a police station, prompting the authorities to beef up security in airports and other police offices, the police said.

Wiji Joko Santoso alias Patria or Dwi who has expertise in assembling bombs and weapons as well as having a military skill was captured in Depok, an outskirt city to the south of Indonesia's capital of Jakarta at 6:10 a.m. local time, National Police's spokesman Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo said on Wednesday.

The arrest was made about two hours before a 24-year-old suicide bomber blew himself up at a police station in Medan, the provincial capital of North Sumatra.

The fatal attack killed the bomber, wounded five policemen and another civilian, police said.

The spokesman said Santoso has long engaged himself in terrorist activities. In 1999 he flew to the Philippines and trained militants there until 2002.

Santoso set up relations with the Free Syrian Army in 2012 and had traveled to several nations, Dedi said, without giving further details.

In the wake of the deadly attack, 19 airports in the country stepped up their security, said Muhammad Awaludin, head of PT Angkasa Pura II, a state enterprise responsible for management of airports.

"We strive to make airports under our management to be cleared from terrorist acts," he said in a statement.

The military and police were involved in measures along with coordination with intelligent personnel, said Muhammad.

Several police stations have also taken precautionary measures by boosting security, the police said.

Indonesia has been hit by a string of suicide bombings in recent years, including the multiple suicide attacks in the provinces of East Java and Riau in May, 2018, and suicide strikes at a police station and Starbucks Cafe in the hearth of the country's capital of Jakarta in January 2016, claiming dozens of lives, according to the police.