Islamic State jihadists arrested for Jakarta protests

Police spokesman: "They wanted to conduct attacks taking advantage of the demonstrations". Over 450 alleged rioters arrested. The Jakarta governor: "At least eight people have died; 737 are wounded ”. Four deaths are due to stab wounds, as many with gunshots. But the police didn't have lethal bullets. Intelligence: "Some wanted to make ‘martyrs’".


Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Indonesian police have arrested two people suspected of being affiliated with the Islamic State (IS): they intended to launch a terrorist attack under the cover of protests against the presidential election results.

Alleged members of the Islamist Islamic Reformist Movement (Garis), the two were among the hundreds of rioters who took to the streets in central Jakarta three days ago, stated inspector general Muhammad Iqbal, spokesman for the national police.

The violent street demonstrations that destroyed various parts of Central and West Jakarta ended only on the night between May 22 and 23. The authorities have arrested over 450 suspected rioters. Many of these are from outside Jakarta (Bekasi, Sumatra and the provinces of Banten, Central and West Java). The police found envelopes containing money on some of the searched people. National Police spokesman, the insp. General Muhamad said two days ago that "the incidents were premeditated and the protesters received money to create chaos".

Anies Baswedan, governor of Jakarta, said last night that in the two days of violence "at least eight people died; a further 737 received medical care in hospitals ”. Among the wounded, 79 are in serious condition.

Security forces have denied and called "fake news" any alleged involvement of agents or soldiers in the death of protesters. Argo Yuwono, spokesman for the Jakarta police, said on the evening of May 23rd that four of the victims had died of stab wounds.

Dr. Musyafak, head of the Kramat Jati National Police Hospital, added that he had conducted post-mortem examinations on four other bodies, which showed that the cause of the deaths were gunshots. However, the military doctor has not specified whether the deaths are due to rubber or lethal bullets. The approximately 58,000 security personnel that the government deployed in Jakarta did not have these bullets supplied.

The conduct of police and soldiers has aroused the appreciation of a large part of Indonesian society. Many celebrate the work of Gen. Tito Karnavian, chief of police. The Jakarta daily newspaper cites military sources and states that the decision not to arm forces in the field with deadly bullets was taken to avoid accusations in the event of deaths among protesters.

Intelligence information indicated the possibility that terrorists would shoot into the crowd. The thesis is confirmed by the discovery of an M4 assault rifle, a weapon used by the US army. The police also found several chargers and a silencer. "Using the latter - says the source of the Post - no one would have noticed the shots. On the basis of our intelligence, the targets were government and military officials and demonstrators: the goal was to create "martyrs". "

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