JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesian counterterrorism police said they arrested nine suspected Islamic militants Tuesday, including an alleged bomb maker who eluded capture for five years.
Police spokesman Rikwanto said that Bakri Baroncong was believed to have made the explosives for a failed attempt to kill the governor of South Sulawesi province in 2012. Bakri had avoided capture for more than five years and was tracked down at an Islamic boarding school in the province.
Five suspected militants were arrested in Pekanbaru city in Sumatra and two others in Central Java province.
The ninth suspect, Hendrasti Wijanarko, was captured in East Java province. He was linked to four militants convicted over a plot to bomb a guard-changing ceremony at the presidential palace in Jakarta.
They were part of a small extremist cell in Central Java's Solo city who took orders from Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian with the Islamic State group in Syria accused of orchestrating several attacks in Indonesia.
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has carried out a sustained crackdown on Islamic militants since the 2002 bombings on the tourist island of Bali killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.
Islamic State group-inspired militants have not made a big impact with their attacks in Indonesia, but officials fear that could change if Indonesians who fought with IS in the Middle East return home.