Suspects Linked to 2018 Surabaya Church Bombings Arrested
08/28/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – During an Aug. 26 media briefing, Indonesian police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told reporters that they have arrested six terrorist suspects, two of whom have been linked to last year’s bombings at three churches in Surabaya city.
The arrests were made last week in several locations in East Java province. All those arrested were members of the Islamic State-affiliated group Jamaah Ansharut Daullah (JAD), which was behind the suicide bombings at Santa Maria Catholic Church and two Protestant churches on May 13 last year, killing 19 people and injured dozens of others.
Two leaders believed to be in the know of the bombings, Hanafi Abu Zufar, 39, a suspected JAD cell leader in Madura in East Java, and Salman, 31, a suspected cell leader in Lamongan, also in East Java, were arrested on Aug. 22.
“Both are closely linked to the Surabaya bombings,” Prasetyo told reporters. “At least, they knew of the plan to launch the attacks in Surabaya.”
Stanislaus Riyanta, an intelligence analyst from the University of Indonesia, told UCA News that the arrests suggested that JAD remained a significant threat in Indonesia.
“As long as the JAD network is still strong, threats against places of worship remain high,” he said.
According to police, the latest arrest of the two cell leaders brings the number of suspects arrested in connection with the Surabaya bombings to more than 200.
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