During a raid, on Wednesday morning, Indonesian anti-terror officers killed three suspected militants after a bomb was thrown at officers in a house, in Setu, South Tangerang, 25km west of capital Jakarta.
National Police spokesman Rikwanto said a residential neighborhood has been evacuated after bombs were found in a house rented by the men.
He said the alleged militants had opened fire at officers. “Suddenly somebody threw something and it was a man-made bomb, but it didn’t explode and there were shots from inside,” he added. “Police responded … and three people were killed.”
Rikwanto said the three men killed had thrown explosives at police after refusing an appeal from the authorities to surrender and come out of the house, which is in a leafy residential compound in Tangerang, a Jakarta satellite city. Another man who was arrested in the neighborhood had led police to the house used by the militants.
He said police had not ruled out the possibility the explosives were planned to be detonated in attacks over the holiday period. The police haven’t revealed how many bombs were found in the house.
Jakarta Police spokesman M. Iriawan said police had been told a terror attack would be carried out on Christmas Day targeting a police post. “The information we received was there were three bombs ready to explode inside the house – a pipe [bomb] and three backpacks,” he said.
Rikwanto, who uses one name, said police believe those involved in the plot are linked to several militants arrested December 10 on the outskirts of Jakarta who were planning a bomb attack using a pressure cooker bomb on a guard-changing ceremony at the presidential palace the next day.
Police have said that foiled plot, in which a woman was to be the suicide bomber, was orchestrated by Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian with the Islamic State group in Syria. They also say Naim was behind a bomb lab that was raided last month in West Java and contained enough explosive materials to make bombs three times more powerful than those used in the 2002 Bali bombings.
Police spokesperson Awi Setiyono later said one of the alleged terrorists, Omen, who had been killed, was an ex-murderer, who had been recruited by an ex-terrorist convicted of the Myanmar embassy bombing in 2013.
He said the other two, Irwan and Helmi, were members of Jemmah Anshar Daulah (JAD), which the National Counterterrorism Agency recently said was the most dangerous terrorist organization in the country.