JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesian police arrested three suspected militants Friday for their alleged involvement in twin suicide bombings that killed three people in Jakarta, while the Islamic State group claimed it was responsible for the attack.
The suspects are believed to be connected to Wednesday’s blasts and were taken into custody from three places in Bandung, the capital of West Java province, West Java police spokesman Yusri Yunus said.
“The roles of each and their group are still being investigated,” Yunus said.
U.S. terror monitors, the SITE Intelligence Group, said the Islamic State group claimed it was responsible for the attack, which targeted police at a bus terminal in eastern Jakarta. The three killed were police officers, while another 11 people, both police and civilians, were wounded.
Authorities in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, have carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since the 2002 bombings by al-Qaida-affiliated radicals that killed 202 people in Bali. Still in recent years it has faced a new threat as the rise of the Islamic State group in the Middle East has breathed new life into local militant networks and raised concern about the risk of Indonesian fighters returning home.
The attack Wednesday was the deadliest in Jakarta since January 2016, when a suicide and gun strike in the central business district left four civilians and four assailants dead.
Police have identified the suicide bombers as Ichwan Nurul Salam, 31, and Ahmad Sukri, 32, both from West Java province. Police had earlier given a different spelling of Salam’s name and said he was a different age.
Police were investigating if they have links to Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, or JAD, a network of almost two dozen Indonesian extremist groups that formed in 2015 and pledges allegiance to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
JAD, which Washington designated earlier this year as a terrorist group, has been implicated in a number of terror plots in Indonesia over the past year.
Police identified those arrested Friday as Jajang Iqin Shodiqin, Waris Suyitno and Abu Dafa. Yunus said police have seized a computers, cellphones and documents about Islam from Shodiqin’s house in western Bandung.
Police said Shodiqin has an active role in raising donations to help fund a radical Islamic boarding school in Poso, a region in Central Sulawesi that is considered to be Indonesia’s terrorist hotbed where a Muslim-Christian conflict killed at least 1,000 people from 1998 to 2002.