TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Police’s anti-terror squad Densus 88, on Tuesday, arrested six terror suspects allegedly linked to the suicide bombing at the Cathedral Church in Makassar, South Sulawesi, in March.
"The Densus 88 anti-terror squad arrested six terror suspects, who are members of the Villa Mutiara group, Makassar," a spokesman of the Indonesian Police Brig. Gen Pol. Rusdi Hartono stated at the Indonesian Police Headquarters, Jakarta.
Hartono noted that the six suspects were identified by their initials as J, D, MS, S alias AL, W, and S.
"They are members of the terrorist group (headquartered) in the Villa Mutiara (housing complex). They have a Whatsapp group named 'Batalyon Iman,'" Hartono revealed.
The spokesman noted that the group had used social media to communicate and practice terror acts.
"In their communication via the WhatsApp group, they also discussed another 'amaliyah’ plans. They also discussed and practiced how to make or assemble explosives," he noted.
All suspects were arrested from Makassar and the adjoining areas, except for D, who was apprehended in Gowa District, South Sulawesi.
Densus 88 seized an air rifle, seven cellular phones, and one motorcycle from the suspects.
"The air rifle was used during the training to operate the weapon. Seven cellular phones and a motorcycle were also deployed," he stated.
Following the suicide bombing at Cathedral Church in Makassar on March 28 that killed the two bombers, the anti-terror squad had stepped up its operations to thwart terrorism in the country.
In January 2021, Densus 88 had arrested 20 terror suspects under its operation to prevent terrorism.
After the bombing in March, the squad apprehended eight suspects in Makassar, of which three were women.
The group received their teachings at the Vila Mutiara housing complex affiliated to the militant group, Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).