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Indonesian counter-terrorism unit arrests 59 suspects targeting 2024 Presidential Election

In a recent development, Indonesian authorities captured 59 individuals linked to terrorism.

The Indonesian National Police’s Special Detachment 88 Anti-Terror conducted the arrests, citing credible intelligence highlighting potential threats to the 2024 Presidential Election.

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INDONESIA: The Indonesian National Police’s Special Detachment 88 Anti-Terror (Densus 88) has successfully apprehended 59 individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism and allegedly targeting the 2024 Presidential Election.

The arrests took place between 2 and 23 October, spanning various regions across the country.

The spokesman for Densus 88 Anti-Terror, Commissioner Pol. Aswin Siregar made the announcement from the Indonesian National Police Headquarters.

Aswin stated that these arrests were carried out in response to credible intelligence regarding potential threats to the upcoming 2024 election.

The suspects were divided into two distinct categories, with 40 individuals linked to the Jamaah Asharud Daulah (JAD) group, which is known to support the Islamic State (ISIS), and 19 suspects identified as members of the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist organization’s structural hierarchy.

Jamaah Islamiyah network remains active

As cited from Antara on Tuesday (31 Oct), Densus 88 emphasized that the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) network remains active, engaged in the dissemination of propaganda through social media platforms, and conducting physical training.

Aswin stated, “This serves as a reminder that the structural network of JI is still present and active. Those associated with them are not merely sympathizers; they hold positions within the JI organization.”

The 19 JI suspects were apprehended in various regions across Indonesia: one in West Sumatra, one in West Kalimantan, one in West Java, seven in West Nusa Tenggara, five in South Sumatra, and four in Lampung.

Aswin further revealed that, between October 27 and 28, another 27 individuals linked to the JAD group were arrested. This number later increased to 40 suspects as the investigation progressed.

Of these, 23 were arrested in West Java, 11 in the Jakarta Special Capital Region (DKI Jakarta), and six in Central Sulawesi.

Aswin explained that these individuals were associated with the JAD group, and there was evidence of their planned activities aimed at disrupting or impeding the democratic process leading up to the 2024 elections.

The Head of the Public Relations Bureau of the Indonesian National Police Division of Public Relations, Brigadier General Ahmad Ramadhan, and the Spokesperson for Densus 88, Commissioner Aswin Siregar, holding a photo of several firearms seized during the arrest of 59 terrorism suspects in October 2023, at a press conference at the National Police Headquarters, Jakarta, on Tuesday (31 Oct). (Photo: KOMPAS.com)

Propagating extremist ideologies and radical contents

Aswin Siregar also highlighted the distinct roles played by the two terrorist groups.

Members of JI are primarily involved in propagating extremist ideologies and disseminating radical contents through social media platforms.

On the other hand, individuals associated with JAD are believed to be plotting attacks on law enforcement agencies and attempting to disrupt the 2024 election process.

In his statement, Aswin emphasized that the Densus 88 Anti-Terror unit does not tolerate any threats to national security, especially during the lead-up to the democratic election.

He underscored the Indonesian National Police’s commitment to safeguarding the integrity of the 2024 elections and maintaining the nation’s security.

The Indonesian authorities said they remain vigilant and determined to prevent any acts of violence and terrorism that could disrupt the democratic exercise.

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