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.