Two suspected terrorists, who police said are father and son and might have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, were recently arrested in Bali’s Jembrana regency. Authorities say the father has a close relationship with Abu Rara, another suspected terrorist who allegedly attacked Indonesia’s chief security minister Wiranto last week in Banten province.
Police said that the suspected terrorists, identified as 45-year-old AT and his 14-year-old son ZAI, were arrested on Oct. 10. Authorities also seized a number of weapons, including an arrow, a bayonet and an airsoft gun, which are suspected to have been part of an attack plotted for Bali.
“AT had prepared arrows, airsoft gun, and bayonets, which we suspect were going to be used for amaliyah in Bali,” Bali Police spokesman, Hengky Widjaja, said on Saturday, as quoted by Detik.
Amaliyah is a term jihadists use to refer to field action. In addition, police reportedly said AT and ZAI had planned on resisting arrest and throwing away their phones and laptops in water should they face authorities at any point. The two had reportedly been living in East Denpasar prior to the arrest.
Information on the arrest was publicly released on Saturday, which also marked the 17th anniversary of the Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people.
As reported by Kompas.com, Hengky said that AT has a close relationship with Syahril Alamsyah, also known as Abu Rara, who were one of the two IS-linked suspects arrested last week for allegedly stabbing Wiranto.
AT, just like Abu Rara, was a member of a WhatsApp group called “Menanti Al Mahdi,” which police said consisted of extremists. Police also suspect that AT was aware of the plan to stab Wiranto.
The Densus 88 counterterrorism squad and Bali Police’s transnational and organized crime (CTOC) task force are reportedly conducting further investigation on both AT and ZAI.
Meanwhile, authorities are stepping up security in ports across Bali, including in Jembrana regency’s Gilimanuk port and Karangasem regency’s Padangbai port, as a precaution to limit any possible movement of terrorists on the island.