Suspect’s brother urges caution

Police are on alert across Asean. Source: Pixabay


Police in Jakarta say a man called Muhammad Bahrun Naim, believed to be in Syria with Isis, may have coordinated last week’s attacks, but his brother Dahlan Zaim came forward over the weekend to say it was too early to make that announcement.

The explosions in Jakarta on Thursday killed four attackers and four civilians, and 12 people have subsequently been arrested.

Indonesian police have said the group responsible was planning attacks targeting foreign nationals in cities like Bandung in West Java.

The police said Bahrun, 32, supported Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, his brother Dahlan said that Bahrun, apparently from Solo in Java, was studying in Syria.

“My friends keep asking me what’s going on. My university teachers say I come from a family of terrorists. But the police have only pointed a finger at my brother and it’s not even clear if he’s guilty. These accusations have had a huge impact on our family. My mother cries all the time,” Dahlan was reported saying. “As far as I know, when [Bahrun] was younger, he joined a radical group. But it wasn’t one with a violent track record. Just because he was a part of this group, doesn’t mean he carried out the attack.”

Dahlan also spoke to the media on Saturday and said that his family had no contact with Bahrun, saying the family was cooperating with the authorities.

Jakarta police have identified four out of five of Thursday’s attackers, revealing that two were convicted militants.

The also organisation planned to attack government offices and foreigners in other Indonesian cities, a police spokesman said, suggesting an aim was to destabilise Indonesian tourism.

Police claim to have blocked at least 11 websites and social-media pages.

One of the Thursday’s militants was labelled Afif Sunakim, seen carrying a rifle and rucksack during the Jakarta attacks.

He had been previously given a seven-year jail term for attending a militant camp, according to the Indonesian authorities.

The firearms used are alleged to have come from the Philippines and reportedly of poor quality and used to explain the low civilian death toll. A Canadian and an Indonesian died and at least 20 people were injured.

Two attackers died in a suicide bomb blast, police claim, while the other three were killed in a firefight.

Three other men were arrested near Jakarta on Friday, police told the media.