Man linked to Marina Bay rocket attack plot arrested

Indonesian authorities have made a fresh arrest in connection with a plot to launch a rocket attack on Marina Bay hatched by the leader of a terrorist cell in Batam.

A 24-year-old man was caught by commandos from the elite Detachment 88 counter-terrorism unit who raided an Internet cafe in Batu Aji on Batam on Saturday morning.

Eyewitnesses at the Matrix@Net cafe said eight heavily armed officers came in and grabbed the suspect.

Yesterday, Riau Islands police chief Sambudi Gusdian confirmed the arrest while police spokesman Agus Rianto would only identify the suspect as "LH", an unemployed Indonesian from Batu Aji.

The Straits Times understands that police intelligence had linked the man to the Batam-based Katibah Gigih Rahmat (KGR) cell, named after its leader Gigih Rahmat Dewa. The police previously said Gigih, a 31-year-old factory worker, had planned the rocket attack under the direction of Indonesian militant Bahrun Naim.

Bahrun, who is believed to be in the Middle East fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has kept close contact with ISIS loyalists in Indonesia via smartphone messaging app Telegram.

The rocket attack plot came to light after Gigih and four KGR members were nabbed in Batam on Aug 5. Though weapons such as a bow and arrow and an airsoft gun modified to resemble an AK-47 assault rifle had been seized in police raids, no rocket was found.

General Agus said LH had allegedly joined other KGR members for drills using airsoft guns in preparation to fight with ISIS militants in Syria.

Besides helping Indonesians travel to Syria, he is also said to have received funds from Uighur separatists belonging to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement based in China's restive Xinjiang region.

The money is believed to have been used to smuggle Uighur militants into Batam or harbour others who have managed to enter Indonesia from a third country such as Malaysia.

Also read: 6 arrested in Batam for plotting to launch rockets aimed at Marina Bay

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