Sumatra cops discover large cache of bombs

JAKARTA: Police have found 300kg of explosives and more than 15 bombs in the houses of an arrested terrorist and his accomplice in northern Sumatra.

The materials – which included a land mine, pipe bomb and vest bomb – were mostly found in the Sibolga home of local militant cell ring leader Husain alias Abu Hamzah, 30, whose wife blew herself up at the house with her two-year-old child early on Wednesday, as their house was besieged by police.

One of the four land mine bombs planted around the house yard went off on Tuesday, injuring a police officer, according to police spokesman Brigadier-General Dedi Prasetyo.

“Husain had a sophisticated plan ... He has high skill of bomb making. We found various types of switching (to detonate the bombs by) movement, step-on, and remote device,” Dedi told a media briefing yesterday.

He did not elaborate on how the land mine bomb was activated.“The amount of explosives is quite high, meaning this required big enough financing. Our investigation is zooming in on who their financiers are.”He said the couple had been planning a one-person attack strategy and a suicide bombing, indicated by a vest bomb that police found in the house of Husain’s accomplice, Ameng.

Part of Ameng’s role was also to help finance the cell’s operations, Dedi said, pointing out that Ameng contributed 15 million rupiah (RM4,298). Husain, Ameng and Ogel, the third person arrested in Sibolga, are believed to be members of Jamaah Ansha­rut Daulah, an In­­do­nesian terror group affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

North Sumatra Police Chief Inspector General Agus Andri­anto said the woman who blew herself up was called Solimah.

Indonesian state news agency Antara reported that her body parts were found around 70m from the house which had been besieged by police on Tuesday.

Neighbours of Husain said they noticed that he and his wife never went to a community mosque for prayer.

They also understood that the couple had stricter views about Islam compared to other residents who practise a moderate form of the religion.

But neither Husain nor his wife had ever raised suspicion of terror activity, according to a report prepared by Jakarta-based Centre of Terrorism and Radi­cal­ism Studies, whose researchers spoke to the couple’s neighbours.

Police yesterday said the couple had four kids, identified by their initials: H aged 18, A aged 16, S aged 11, and H aged two.

The youngest was killed in Wednesday’s blast.

Police are searching for the elder three. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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