Indonesia / Myanmar

Islamist militant arrested in Indonesia; authorities believe he was planning bomb attack

Indonesian police pose in this undated file photo. Source: Facebook

Indonesian police pose in this undated file photo. Source: Facebook

Authorities in the Indonesian capital have reportedly made an arrest of a suspect who is believed to be an Islamist militant. According to reports by local media, the man, named as 23-year old Rio Priatna Wibawa, was found to have a ‘large quantity of bomb making material’.

A police spokesman told the media that the bomb making material was intended to be used in an attack on the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta in December, and also other government buildings.

According to some reports, the quantity of the explosives that were found could have been used to construct a bomb at least ‘twice as powerful’ as the one used to destroy a Bali nightclub in 2002, killing over 200 people.

It is believed that the suspect, an unemployed university student, taught himself how to make explosives.

This is just the latest in a series of attacks in Indonesia this year believed to be linked to the Islamic State organisation. The most significant attack took place in Jakarta in January 2016, which saw four victims killed.

Indonesia, home to the largest Muslim population in the world, has seen an increasing rate of radicalism in recent times, and the authorities are ramping up their efforts to curb the threat of domestic terrorism.