Update: Jokowi orders crackdown on ‘terror network’ behind Wiranto attack
JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo instructed security authorities to hunt down the “terrorist network” behind Thursday’s attack on his senior minister.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed security authorities to take stern action and hunt down the “terrorist network” behind Thursday’s attack on Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto.
Jokowi visited Wiranto at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Central Jakarta, where the senior minister was being treated for two abdominal stab wounds sustained in the assault.
The President said he had ordered National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian and State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Budi Gunawan to coordinate with the Indonesian Military [TNI] to “investigate and take stern measures against the perpetrator and the network behind the incident.”
“Pak Wiranto is now conscious but in the process of surgery,” Jokowi said at around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. “Now the most important thing is for [authorities] to hunt down the [terrorist] network.”
Wiranto was attacked with a bladed weapon during a working visit to Pandeglang, Banten, allegedly by a man identified by police as SA aka Abu Rara.
Jokowi said he had immediately instructed his staff to send a helicopter to transport Wiranto, who had initially been treated at the emergency unit of the Berkah Pandeglang hospital, to the RSPAD.
Abu Rara, who was arrested alongside his wife identified by the initials FA, had been exposed to radical teachings that authorities said had led him to launch the attack against the chief security minister.
Budi said the alleged perpetrator was affiliated with the Islamic State-linked homegrown militant group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
Budi said Abu Rara had initially been a member of the JAD cell in Kediri, East Java, and authorities had detected his move to Bogor in West Java and later to Menes in Pandeglang to remarry after he got divorced from his first wife.
The suspect had reportedly been under the BIN’s watch and monitored as he was reportedly hoarding bladed weapons, such as knives.
When asked how the attack could still happen despite the monitoring, Budi said that JAD worked in cells comprising both lone wolves and small groups. “There are so many cells, so we also call on the public to help us monitor the cells,” he said after visiting Wiranto.
Prior to Thursday’s attack, Wiranto was among four state officials reportedly targeted in an assassination plot planned to take place amid postelection protests that turned into riots in the capital in late May.
In his statement, Jokowi also called on the public to stand together to fight against terrorism and radicalism. “Only through a joint effort can we get rid of them from our beloved nation,” he said.