Indonesian police said Friday they had shot and killed suspected terrorist who fatally stabbed an officer, after the pair allegedly planned to help inmates who were rioting at the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) detention facility in West Java.
Also on Friday, officials announced that a court hearing for an alleged Islamic State (IS) leader housed in the prison was postponed for a week because of the two-day riot that left five officers dead and inmate dead. Amaq, a news agency affiliated with the extremist group Islamic State, claimed IS supporters were behind the riot at the prison holding convicted Indonesian terrorists, but police rejected the online claim.
National Police spokesman Inspector Gen. Setyo Wasisto said the first suspect, a 40-year-old identified by the initials R.A., was killed in Tambun Bekasi early Thursday after he and a colleague, J.G., 30, tried to strangle officers who were taking them to Jakarta for questioning. “They also tried to seize firearms so police shot them both,” Setyo added.
The men and two others were arrested at Tambun Station in Bekasi after police received information they were heading toward Brimob to assist the inmates, Setyo said. J.G. has been treated at a police hospital while the other men are in police custody as officers continue their investigation.
“From the interim investigation, the four are members of JAD (Jamaah Ansharut Daulah), Bandung,” Setyo said, referring to the Indonesian network of the extremist group Islamic State that pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Later on Thursday, police shot and killed alleged militant Tendi Sumarno, 23, after he fatally stabbed another officer at the Brimob compound.
“We are still investigating,” Setyo said, adding the attacker pulled out a hidden knife and stabbed the officer who was questioning him for being at the compound. The officer was killed hours after 155 terrorist inmates, who had started a riot at the center on Tuesday evening, killing five policemen and holding another one hostage, surrendered.
Deputy police chief Syafruddin said the five officers were killed sadistically. Most had deep neck wounds and other wounds on their bodies. In addition, four other officers were injured including the officer who was taken hostage. One inmate was killed as well.
The riot began Tuesday evening when an inmate asked an officer for food that had been brought by his family, police said. The officer was not aware of the delivery, triggering an angry response. Authorities said 155 inmates had armed themselves with about 30 weapons taken from an area where the prison stored contraband seized during police operations, Reuters news service reported.
Wiranto, Indonesia’s coordinating minister of political, legal and security affairs, said the inmates were asked to surrender one by one, and 145 of them complied, giving up their weapons. The final 10 surrendered at 7:15 a.m. Thursday after police conducted an ambush, but he did not release details of the action. The 145 were transferred to the maximum-security facility on the Nusakambangan penal island in Central Java, while the 10 holdouts remained at Mako Brimob as part of the ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile, the court hearing Friday for Indonesia’s most prominent IS ideologue, Aman Abadurrahman, on charges related to his alleged involvement in recent terror acts in Indonesia was postponed for a week. “We cannot bring the defendant to court, therefore we cannot read out the charges today. We request a postponement,” prosecutor Anita told the South Jakarta District Court, according to local media.
The hearing was rescheduled for next Friday. “Probably because the situation is not yet conducive because of the riot in Mako Brimob,” defense lawyer Asludin Hatjani told BenarNews. National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Muhammad Iqbal said the inmates had demanded a meeting with Aman as part of their negotiations. Police allowed the meeting. A recording calling for prisoners to surrender circulated online on Friday. When asked if the voice on the recording was Aman, Setyo replied “I need to check it first.”