Rohingya Crisis: Indonesia foils bomb attack on Myanmar embassy

Local media says amount of explosives seized would have caused a blast twice as deadly as the explosion in a Bali nightclub in 2002.

Indonesia arrests militant for planning bomb attack on Myanmar embassy
Plainclothes policemen escort a suspected militant (C) as they move him from police headquarters in Medan to Banda Aceh for an investigation April 12, 2010. Reuters

Indonesian police arrested a suspected Islamist militant for planning an attack on government buildings and the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta next month. The police have also seized a large quantity of bomb making material that he intended to use for the attack.

The 23-year-old suspect has been identified as Rio Priatna Wibawa, who is believed to be a member of an Indonesian group that supports Islamic State. According to the local media, the amount of explosives that was seized would have caused a blast twice as deadly as the explosion in a Bali nightclub in 2002 killing 202 people.

Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said on Saturday that Wibawa was a self-taught bomb-maker and he planned to distribute explosives to several places across Indonesia. He studied agricultural science at university but was unemployed for a long time.

In 2016, Indonesia witnessed a series of Islamic State-linked attacks demanding lives of many people. The biggest of these attacks was a gun and bomb assault in Jakarta that killed four people in January.

The authorities said there are hundreds of Islamic State sympathizers in the country, which is a home to the biggest Muslim population in the world. Hence, the authorities have serious concern about resurgence in radicalism.

In recent times, the Muslim-majority nations in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, have seen protest marches and demonstrations in several cities, including Jakarta over the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Join the Discussion