Former Kopassus major general arrested for smuggling weapons intended for election protests tomorrow

Mayjen (Purn) Soenarko. Photo:
Mayjen (Purn) Soenarko. Photo:

Compounding concerns about the potential for rioting and terrorist attacks during tomorrow’s planned demonstrations by supporters of Prabowo Subianto against the official presidential election result is the shocking news that a former Kopassus (Military Special Forces) commander has been arrested for trying to smuggle weapons to tomorrow’s protest.

Maj. Gen. Sisriadi, a spokesperson for the military, confirmed the news to the media this afternoon that a retired Kopassus major general, identified by his initial S, as well as another active military officer and a civilian, were arrested for their involvement in a weapon smuggling case. They have been investigated by members of both the National Police and Military Police and S is currently being held at the Guntur Military Detention Center.

S has already been identified by several media outlets as ex-Kopassus Maj. Gen Soenarko. The civilian who has been arrested is reportedly Soenarko’s driver.

Police said that, before Soenarko was investigated for gun smuggling, he had been reported to authorities for making treasonous statements about protesters at tomorrow’s demo laying siege to KPU Headquarters and State Palace.

Yesterday, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko referred to Soenarko by saying, “Our intelligence has captured attempts to smuggle weapons. This person is being processed. Their aim was definitely to disrupt the situation (around the election protests),” Moeldoko said as quoted by Tribunnews.

“They could have shot into the crowd, making it seem as if it was coming from the police and military security forces. That would be a trigger that would make the situation become chaotic,” Moeldoko added.

Gerindra Chairman Prabowo is famously known for being an ex-Kopassus commander himself.

In a surprise move, the General Election Commission (KPU) released the official results of their real count early this morning announced that President Joko Widodo had officially won the election, a day before the official results were due and expected to be announced and major protests by Prabowo supporters were expected to take place.

At the same time this afternoon that Jokowi gave his victory speech, Prabowo reiterated once again that he would not accept the election results over his campaign’s allegations of massive and systemic voter fraud. His campaign now says they will challenge the result in the Constitutional Court.

Prabowo and his campaigners have also encouraged supporters to use “people power” and stage massive protests over the alleged fraud, but the police have warned the public against joining the protests due to the threat of terrorist attacks.

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