Police Anti-Terror Squad Nabs Seven Ex-Syria Militants

Jakarta. The National Police’s elite anti-terrorism unit detained nine suspected terrorists – seven of them former Syrian fighters – in a series of raids in East and Central Java on Tuesday, a spokesman said.

Police believe the suspected terrorists are more professional compared with the members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) recently arrested in Bekasi (West Java), Lampung and Tegal (Central Java).

“It is important to note that of these nine suspected terrorists, seven returned from Syria. This means they are more experienced, capable and militant than those arrested earlier,” National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said on Wednesday.

He added that those arrested on Tuesday are part of an international network, while JAD only operates locally.

Eight of the suspects were captured in various parts of Central Java and one in East Java.

The police spokesman gave the following details of the nine suspects, only identifying them by their initials:

  • A.H., alias Memet (26), was arrested in Grobogan, Central Java. He went to Syria in 2015 to join Islamic State.
  • A., alias David (24), was captured in Kartosuro in Sukoharjo district, Central Java. He also went to Syria.
  • I.H., alias Iskandar (27), arrested in Gemolong in Sragen district, Central Java, received combat training with replica weapons before traveling to Syria in October 2014. He returned to Indonesia in August 2017.
  • A.M., alias Farel (26), was also arrested in Gemolong. He tried to go to Syria twice, but was captured and deported by Turkish authorities on both occasions.
  • A.U., alias Al (25), was captured in Kudus, Central Java. He joined IS in Syria and worked in the organization’s logistics section. He was also tasked with conducting surveillance.
  • J.M., alias Jundi, alias Dian (26), was arrested in Sowan Kidul in Jepara district, Central Java. He is not a Syria returnee.
  • A.S., alias Tatang, was captured in Semarang, Central Java. He was involved in JAD before traveling to Syria in 2013 for military training.
  • P.T., alias Dharma (45), was arrested with Tatang.
  • J.D., arrested in East Java, was previously the coordinator of JAD on Java Island. He also coordinated combat training in Central Java.
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