Trouble in paradise as 72 terrorists are arrested
Indonesian authorities have arrested 72 people on suspicion of terrorism in a major counter terrorism strike.
In Jakarta and West Java, 15 people have been detained while 57 other suspected terrorists have been taken into custody across the Indonesian archipelago - including on the holiday playground of Bali, which has been closed to foreign tourists since the beginning of the Covid lockdown in March. The island opened to domestic tourism just one week ago.
National Police spokesman, Mr Awi Setiyono said Indonesia's strike force Densus 88 Anti-Terror squad netted 72 suspects between June 1st and August 12.
"We arrested 72 perpetrators of criminal acts of terrorism in Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Bali, Sumatra and Sulawesi," Mrs Awi said.
In 2002, a terrorist bombing at the Sari nightclub in Kuta killed 202 people - including 88 Australians.
On August 12, fifteen suspected terrorists were arrested in Jakarta and West Java and identified as being part of Indonesia's home grown Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which is linked to ISIS.
"They (the 15 suspects) sent logistics and funding for the Mujahidin Indonesia Timur terrorist group and became facilitators for the departure (of fighters) to Syria," he said.
Among those arrested is Koswara - AKA Abu Hanifah, 33, is believed to be among the leadership of JAD. He is also been known as Raihan Nur Hafiz and Jak.
Koswara is also accused of holding fighter training camps at Wadon cave in Bogor, the Cilalay waterfall in West Java and at Gunung Batu, Bogor between August and September last year.
Police collected evidence that he funded and facilitated both JAD and Mujahidin Indonesia Timur.
In the crackdown police seized Osama bin Laden's terrorist guide book, multiple passports, credit and ATM cards plus 44 jihad books and the notorious dead terrorist Al Baghdadi's lecture book. There were nine mobile phones, a samurai sword, an envelope containing IDR 1,500,000 cash ($A150) and a letter confirming Koswara's free status from Indonesia's notorious Nusa Kambangan prison where two Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in 2015.
"Koswara claimed to be the emir (high office holder) of JAD in Jakarta," Mr Awi said.
The emir JAD in Indonesia was formerly Abu Musab who disappeared into Syria in 2015 and was replaced by Zaenal Anshori who was arrested in 2017 and is in Nusa Kambangan Prison.
The other 14 men arrested, the youngest of whom is 21 years old, are all members of JAD and face terrorism charges of under articles 7, 13 and 15, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The latest scoop brings the total number of terrorism-related arrests in Indonesia to 129 people since the beginning of 2020.
During the first four months of the year, 57 individuals with ties to Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) were arrested in Indonesia.
Originally published as Trouble in paradise as 72 terrorists arrested in Indonesia