Densus 88 Antitetor Starts Targeting Former FPI Officials
Search of the former headquarters of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) by the Densus 88 Anti-terror Team, in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Tuesday, May 4. (Photo: Antara)

JAKARTA - Densus 88 Anti-terror arrested three former officials of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Tuesday, May 4. The arrests were strongly suspected in connection with the suicide bombing in front of the Cathedral Church some time ago.

South Sulawesi Police Chief Inspector General Merdisyam confirmed the arrest of the three former FPI officials in Makassar. However, he refused to explain in detail about the arrest process

The reason is that everything related to Densus 88 Anti-terror is the authority of the Police Headquarters.

"Yes, that's right, handled directly by the Densus Headquarters", said Inspector General Merdisyam to VOI, Tuesday, May 4.

Based on information obtained, the three former FPI officials had the initials AR, MU, and AS. They were arrested at different locations.

Not only did they arrest three former FPI officials, but the Densus 88 Anti-terror also searched the former headquarters of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) organization, on Jalan Sungai Limboto, Ujung Pandang District, Makassar City, South Sulawesi.

During the search, a number of items were secured by officers, such as a brown cardboard box, nametag, and a red plastic package including a banner bearing the FPI logo and name.

Head of Public Relations of the South Sulawesi Regional Police, Commissioner E Zulpan, confirmed the search at the former FPI Makassar Secretariat. The search is still a series of developments in the suicide bombing of the Makassar Cathedral Church on Sunday, March 28, 2021.

"It is true, there was a search. It was related to the development of a suicide bombing in the Cathedral Church, as well as a study group at Villa Mutiara Biru over the arrest of 20 people earlier this year, including the confessions of several suspects who had been previously arrested", said Zulpan.

He said there were suspects who admitted to being betrayed by Munarman, the former General Secretary of the FPI who was arrested some time ago, as well as the development of the extent to which the suspects were linked and involved with the organization that the government had dismissed.

"There is a confession that one person was arrested from several people who have already been secured. This was adopted by Munarman some time ago, as well as the extent to which it was related to the bomb incident at the Makassar Cathedral Church", said Zulpan.

The arrest of the three former FPI officials in Makassar has been predicted by Institute for Security and Security Studies (ISESS) researcher Bambang Rukminto. This is because he had mentioned that the arrest of the former General Secretary of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Munarman was an entry point for the police to look for other extremists.

"Munarman's arrest is an entry point because the evidence and then the allegations of ISIS and others already exist", Bambang said in an online discussion broadcast on YouTube, Sunday, May 2.

Moreover, Munarman was arrested for alleged involvement in allegiance in several areas. In addition, with pieces of evidence, the police can find networks for those who believe in extremism or that lead to terrorism.

"Everything points in this direction, how FPI should really be cleaned from the elements of extremism", he stressed.

Apart from that, Munarman's arrest was a big breakthrough and also had a deterrent effect on extremist groups in Indonesia, some of whom are actually in the FPI.

"Do not let FPI sympathizers to the social movements carried out by FPI becomes a greater hatred for the government, towards the police, then leads to this extremism which was tried to be avoided by Munarman's arrest", said Bambang.

Munarman was arrested by Densus 88 on Tuesday, April 27 at around 15.30 p.m. local time at Modern Hills Housing, Cinangka, Pamulang, South Tangerang.

During the arrest process, Munarman was not given the opportunity to explain anything. In fact, he wasn't allowed to wear his sandals. When he arrived at The Regional Police (Polda Metro Jaya), Munarman was taken blindfolded and handcuffed.

Munarman is suspected of mobilizing other people to commit criminal acts of terrorism, conspiring to commit crimes of terrorism, and withholding information about criminal acts of terrorism.

After Munarman's arrest, the Densus 88 Team also conducted a search at the former FPI banned mass organization office in Petamburan, Central Jakarta. During the search, the team found the explosive raw materials for TATP or triacetone triperoxide, acetone, and nitrates.

In addition, he was already named a suspect a week before his arrest or April 20. Determination of the suspect is known based on a statement from the National Police

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