Counter-terrorism police unit Densus 88 have arrested 22 suspected terrorists in E. Java, 4 killed

Police stand guard outside a church in Banda Aceh on May 13, 2018 following attacks on churches in Surabaya, East Java. 
A wave of blasts, including a suicide bombing, struck churches in Indonesia on May 13, killing at least nine and wounding dozens of others in the deadliest attack in years to strike the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country. / AFP PHOTO / CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN
Police stand guard outside a church in Banda Aceh on May 13, 2018 following attacks on churches in Surabaya, East Java. A wave of blasts, including a suicide bombing, struck churches in Indonesia on May 13, killing at least nine and wounding dozens of others in the deadliest attack in years to strike the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country. / AFP PHOTO / CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN

It’s been a long grim week in Indonesia due to the consecutive, horrific terrorist attacks in East Java and Riau earlier in the week and the specter of more yet to come still in the back of everybody’s minds. But at least we can take some small comfort in police reports that they are making headway in apprehending the larger network of terrorists connected to the attacks.

The vast majority of arrests were made in East Java, the province in which four suicide bombing attacks took place between Sunday and Monday. Densus 88, the Indonesian Police’s elite counter-terrorism squad, announced that over the last 5 days they have apprehended 22 suspected terrorists across the province and killed four more who were resisting arrest.

Police said they made arrests in the capital city of Surabaya, where the bombings took place, as well as Sidoarjo, Malang, Pasuruan, Probolinggo, Mojokerto and Jombang.

Authorities have not released data on all of those arrested but most are accused of being members of a local chapter of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a terrorist network loyal to Islamic State (IS).

The father of the family behind Sunday’s church bombings in Surabaya was the head of JAD’s Surabaya chapter. Police say the family killed in an explosion in Sidoarjo and the family behind the attack on the Surabaya police station were members of the same group.

Today, prosecutors demanded for the death penalty for radical Islamic cleric Aman Abdurrahman during his trial at the South Jakarta District Court. Abdurrahman is alleged to be the spiritual leader of JAD in Indonesia and is on trial for ordering numerous terrorist actions including the 2016 attack in Jakarta.

For a complete overview of the terrorist attacks in Indonesia and all of the week’s most important news, check out the latest edition of Indonesia Intelligencer, our newsletter covering all of the week’s most essential news from Indonesia.

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