People Barred from Staging Rally on May 22 due to Terror Threats

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • The National Police's Public Relations chief Insp. Gen. Mohammad Iqbal. TEMPO/M Taufan Rengganis

    The National Police's Public Relations chief Insp. Gen. Mohammad Iqbal. TEMPO/M Taufan Rengganis

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The police appealed to the public to refrain from staging a rally on May 22 following possible threats of terror attacks that day. The General Elections Commission (KPU) will announce the results of vote recapitulation of the 2019 presidential election on May 22.

    “[We ask] the public to not hold a demonstration due to a potential terror act,” said National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Mohammad Iqbal in his office, Friday, May 17.

    Iqbal said that the appeal was based on confessions made by suspected terrorists recently arrested by the police. According to him, they eyed the May 22 momentum to detonate a bomb amid the crowd.

    On a video displayed by the police, one suspected terrorist identified as EY admitted he would place a bomb in the crowd on that day. 

    “We will plant the bomb and detonate it using a remote control, targeting election participants, security officers,” said EY. 

    ReadArrested Terror Suspects in Java Fought with ISIS, Police Say

    Another suspected terrorist, DY, said he deliberately used the moment because he deemed the election was against Islam. “This is a good event for me to execute amaliyah (attacks) because the democracy party, in my belief, is against Islam,” said DY on the video.

    The police's anti-terror squad Densus 88 has arrested 68 suspected terrorists from January until May 17, 2019. “One of them died by self-explosion, and we have to take firm actions against seven of them who threatened officers’ life,” Iqbal added.

    Additionally, the police in tandem with Indonesian Armed Force (TNI) will dispatch 32,000 personnel to anticipate terror actions on May 22. Prioritized locations include the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) and the KPU.

    ANDITA RAHMA