10/16/2019, 14.03
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New Widodo administration to tackle terrorism as two suicide attacks foiled

by Mathias Hariyadi

The president will take the oath of office for his second mandate on Sunday. Since the failed assassination attempt against Minister Wiranto, security forces have arrested 26 suspected terrorists. Churches were among Jihadi targets.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Islamic terrorist group, was set to carry out deadly attacks in Surakarta and Yogyakarta, two of the most important cities on Java, Indonesia’s most populous island, this according to General Dedi Prasetyo, spokesman for the National Police (Polri), citing Indonesia’s Special Forces counter-terrorism squad (Densus 88), which foiled the plan.

Between 10 October, the day of the failed attack against Minister Wiranto, and yesterday, security forces arrested 26 suspected terrorists in various parts of the country. In the meantime, tensions continue to rise in the country as the inauguration ceremony for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (on his second mandate) and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin approaches (next Sunday).

General Dedi Prasetyo yesterday revealed the latest Islamist plot (amaliyah) during a press conference at police headquarters in South Jakarta. The terrorist objectives – Surakarta and Yogyakarta – are highly symbolic

The city of Surakarta (also known as Solo) is the president’s birthplace, which he served as mayor for ten years before becoming the governor of Jakarta and eventually head of state.

Capital of the homonymous Special Region ruled by a sultan, Yogyakarta is one of the most influential cities in terms of culture. It is home to Gadjah Mada University (UGM), the oldest Indonesian university.

Both Surakarta and Yogyakarta are home to important religious and military facilities.

The police spokesman provided some details about JAD’s terrorist plan. The group had prepared suicide bombers, colloquially known as the bride or groom (pengantin), and obtained the materials to make bombs that would cause as many victims as possible.

"We arrested JAD members in Yogyakarta," said General Dedi. Two pengantins. “They had already been prepared mentally and spiritually to act on Sunday, 20 October, when Christians attend churches. The same number of bombers was ready to carry out a mission in Surakarta.”

The date was not chosen accidentally. On that day, President Joko Widodo and Vice President Kyai Hajji Ma'ruf Amin take their oath of office in parliament (People's Consultative Assembly or Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat).

At present, Widodo is working on forming the cabinet for his second mandate at a time when political unrest is front-page news. To avoid any incidents and ensure a smooth ceremony, the government plans to deploy around 30,000 soldiers and police in the capital.

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