The police have offered an updated chronology of events related to the killing of six Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) members on Dec. 7, which came after authorities conducted a crime scene reconstruction based on available evidence.
The reconstruction, which was carried out early this morning, showed the FPI members shooting at the police first on an interchange in Karawang regency, West Java. A chase ensued onto the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road, where two FPI members were shot dead on the 50 kilometer checkpoint.
“The other four were arrested,” National Police spokesman Argo Yuwono told reporters today.
The four FPI members were put in a car to be transported to a police station. Just around 1 kilometer into the journey, police say the cops had to carry out a “stern and swift” action on the FPI members after they were attacked in the car.
This chronology of events at least matches witnesses’ accounts, which emerged publicly days after the shooting, that they saw FPI members being taken away in a car.
The police previously said that the officers involved in the shootout were on their way to investigate a tip that FPI was going to mobilize crowds to prevent authorities from questioning their leader Rizieq Shihab, who had ignored several police summons for investigation related to mass gatherings held in his honor.
According to the police, the FPI cars flanked and crashed into the police car until they all came to a stop. The assailants then attacked the officers with firearms, a katana, and sickles.
The officers returned fire and killed six of the 10 assailants. The remaining four fled the scene and are now considered fugitives.
CCTV cameras at the scene of the shootout were offline due to a “malfunction” that day.
FPI denied that its members instigated the attack, claiming that the six victims, who were Rizieq’s bodyguards, were abducted by thugs before they were killed. The hardline group also said that its members never carry firearms or sharp weapons.
Rizieq has since been charged with incitement to commit crime by allowing the mass gatherings to be held in his honor. He finally handed himself in to the Jakarta Metro Police for questioning on Thursday, and was detained as he faces around six years in prison for his alleged crime.