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Indonesian police say illegal-gun dealers may be linked to terrorism
Publication Date : 08-01-2014
Indonesia's National Police have arrested four illegal-gun traders believed to have supplied firearms and ammunition to a terrorist cell.
Sr. Comr. Mashudi of the police’s general crime unit said on Tuesday that the suspects — identified as ES, TH, DA and Sadullah Rojak — were arrested in a series of raids in East Java and West Java from Dec 19, 2013 to Jan 1, 2014.
In the raids, the police confiscated two handguns, six air guns, a pen gun, a stun gun, a set of mechanical bow and arrows and 42 kilograms of urea — a substance that can be used to create explosives.
“SR [Sadullah] is the uncle of Anton who was recently arrested by the Densus 88 [counterterrorism squad] in Banyumas, Central Java,” Mashudi told a press conference at National Police headquarters in Jakarta.
Anton alias Septi was detained on Dec 31, 2013, over his alleged involvement in the fatal shooting of three policemen and the bombing of the Ekayana Buddhist temple last year.
Anton is a loyalist of Abu Roban, the slain leader of West Mujahidin Indonesia who had conducted a series armed robberies to fund terrorist activities led by Santoso, the country’s most-wanted terrorist.
The Densus 88 squad gunned down six of Anton’s accomplices in an hour-long gunfight in Ciputat, South Tangerang, Banten, that ended in the early hours of January 1.
Hours after the deadly raid, a police team arrested Sadullah at his house in the Mega Sentul housing complex in Bogor, West Java.
“In two of his houses, we found one pen gun, two Baikal Makarov airguns, a samurai sword, a US-made Kukri knife and a set of throwing knives,” Mashudi said while showing the evidence to journalists.
The police also confiscated ammunition for firearms and air guns, 42 kg of urea fertilizer, a book on bomb-making and 24 books on jihad.
“We are still trying to find out where they obtained the guns. But, looking at the types of the guns, they may have been brought from overseas,” he continued.
Mashudi added that he was still coordinating with Densus 88 to investigate the suspects’ alleged involvement in terrorism.
For now, the suspects will only be charged under articles 1 and 2 of the 1951 Emergency Law on illegal possession of sharp weapons, firearms, ammunition and explosives. The articles carry the death penalty.
Sadullah and three other suspects are not the sole gun suppliers for Anton’s terrorist cell.
Back in August, the police raided a homemade weapons factory in Sumedang, West Java, in August. Seven individuals were arrested for assembling guns and supplying them to terrorists, including to Anton’s accomplice, Nurul Haq.
Nurul, who was shot dead in the Ciputat raid, allegedly had acted as shooter in a string of police attacks in Greater Jakarta.
In recent years, terrorist cells have shifted their targets from Western interests to the state. The police have become the main target as the force, through its US-funded Densus 88 squad, had arrested and killed suspected terrorists.
Several jihad books justify the murder of policemen, who they referred to as Taghut — an Arabic word for those who disobey God’s will.
Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, said that 10 policemen had been victims of terrorism since the 2009 hotel bombings.
Nine of them were regular police who were killed in apparent retaliation for the deaths and arrests of self-styled Mujahidin, according to Sidney.