7 arrested, including 2 women, in Indonesia after suicide blast

Kyodo News

Posted at Mar 15 2019 10:33 PM

A total of seven Islamic militants, including two women, have been arrested in Indonesia in connection with a suicide bombing two days ago by the wife of an Islamic militant that also killed her 2-year-old child, police said Friday.

One of the two women, identified only by her initial R, was recruited to be a suicide bomber, according to National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo.

In the early hours of Wednesday, a woman identified as Halimah detonated at least two bombs during a standoff with police outside her home in the town of Sibolga in North Sumatra Province. The previous day, her husband, who goes by the alias Abu Hamzah, was arrested for alleged terrorism-related offences.

"Abu Hamzah was going to take R as his second wife," Dedi told a press conference, adding that R was formerly the wife of an Islamic militant who was shot dead during a police raid in October.

R was arrested in the town of Tanjung Balai, about 240 kilometers northeast of Sibolga.

Another woman, identified as Khadijah, was arrested in the town of Klaten in Central Java Province, according to Dedi.

"She instructed comrades in her terrorist network to upload video footage containing some threats against police and planned to launch terror attacks along with Abu Hamzah," the police spokesman said.

In another development, police disclosed that Abu Hamzah and his late wife had three other children besides the one who died in the blasts.

"We are looking for the three other children," he said, adding efforts are continuing to determine whether any of the three also died in Wednesday's explosions.

The police described all of the detainees as being affiliated with Jamah Ansyarut Daulah, a militant network linked to Islamic State.

In July last year, the South Jakarta District Court disbanded JAD as part of efforts to contain terrorist cells in the world's most-populous Muslim nation. With the disbandment ruling, Indonesian authorities can arrest any members, sympathizers or supporters of JAD.