World Bulletin / News Desk
The police chief of Central Sulawesi province told Anadolu Agency that nine suspected militants arrested last week were affiliated to the group based in South Sulawesi’s provincial capital Makassar City.
"This group has declared allegiance to ISIS," Brig. Gen. Rudy Sufahriadi said, referring to ISIL by another acronym.
Sufahriadi described the new group as not being related to the Sulawesi-based East Indonesia Mujahideen -- whose hideout in the jungles of troubled Poso Regency has been the target of a months-long military operation.
During the capture of the nine suspects Friday, police reportedly seized fertilizer, sulfur and nails they suspect would have been used in assembling explosives to attack local police and army headquarters.
National police spokesman Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said two of those arrested are minors.
"We are still investigating their role in the terror plan," he was quoted as saying by detik.com.
Amar also revealed that anti-terror squads had arrested two suspected militants believed to have connections with a bomber who was shot dead by police last month in West Java’s provincial capital Bandung City.
The men are accused of planning attacks on several police stations in the city “to take revenge on the police for the arrest of their friends", according to Amar.
Police believe the three belong to Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, a terror network that includes several extremist groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL.
Indonesia has been cracking down on militant groups since the 2002 Bali bombings in which 202 people died.
The country has been on alert against extremist activities since 2015, further heightening security measures after a January 2016 attack left eight people -- including four ISIL-linked suspects -- dead in the capital.