Six Indonesian Terrorist Suspects Caught in Traffic Stop

Police officers escort a suspected terrorist to a waiting car 
in Medan on Sunday. Indonesian police arrested six men early on 
Sunday morning after stopping a suspicious-looking van in the center 
of the North Sumatra city.Two men in the van managed to escape

Police arrested six more suspected terrorists, fugitives from the armed Islamist militant group that was being trained in Aceh, during a stop in central Medan on Sunday morning , North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Oegroseno said.

“Thank God we could contribute by arresting those fugitives who have already been named as suspects by the National Police’s antiterror detachment,” Oegroseno told.

“This result was purely based on the instinct of our police officers who have been holding police checks on the roads, stopping any suspicious vehicles,” he said.

Oegroseno said the checks were being conducted on three streets in central Medan. At about 1 a.m. Sunday, officers at one of the checkpoints, in front of the Sisingamangaraja Hero cemetery, became suspicious of a Toyota Kijang van that appeared much too dirty for a city car.

“Our officer was curious when they stopped a Toyota Kijang minivan, with Aceh license plates, because the vehicle was very dirty and the passengers looked so tired,” Oegroseno said.

The officers became more suspicious after seeing that one of the passengers appeared to have what looked like a gunshot wound on his left arm. When police asked the passengers to get out of the vehicle, they attempted to run away.

Six were captured but two were able to escape.

“We did not find any weapons,” Oegroseno said.

He said the men later told police investigators that they had buried their weapons in Aceh.

Oegroseno said the suspects had fled Aceh because of the intensive police operations there to hunt down members of the group, which was first discovered conducting military training camps in the forest in Aceh Besar district in February. The group has clashed with the police several times, leading to the deaths of several people, including a policeman.

The arrested suspects were identified as Pandu Wicaksono, aka Abu Asma, and Bayu, Yusuf Arifin, Ibrahim, Abu Musa and Komarudin, who was wounded in the lower arm.

Pandu and Bayu are both from Solo, police said.

“Now we are coordinating with the National Police antiterror team and are still searching for the other two,” Oegroseno said.

National Police antiterror chief Brig. Gen. Tito Karnavian told that all of the suspects were on the wanted list. “Now we are looking for the rest of the fugitives, including Saptono, aka Pak Tuo,” he said, referring to the man believed to have taken over the leadership of the group after key terrorist Dulmatin was shot dead in a police raid in Tangerang in March.

At least 25 suspected terrorists are still at large, including Saptono and Abdullah Sonata, a convicted terrorist, Maulana, who was detained as a terror suspect under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act, and Abu Yusuf, aka Mustaqim, a graduate of the Hudaibiyah military camp in Mindanao, southern Philippines, operated by the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terrorist network.

Including the six arrested on Sunday, 42 members of the group have been captured alive, while seven others, including Dulmatin, have been killed.

Recommended Posts :