Indonesian police have uncovered a plot to carry out more attacks on police facilities and places of worship after examining a laptop belonging to a militant group blamed for a suicide bomb attack at the Medan Metropolitan Police headquarters two weeks ago.
A senior officer involved in the investigation said on Tuesday that files retrieved from the laptop revealed new information about terror plots and secret discussions among the group members.
They were planning more attacks for when the current heavy security clampdown is over, the officer said.
“This group carefully assessed their plan before launching every attack. Their goal was to inflict casualties, they didn’t care if they were police officers or civilians,” the officer, who asked to remain anonymous, told BeritaSatu.
“They were planning suicide attacks,” he said without elaborating.
Some of the group members also talked about avoiding wearing striking Muslim outfits during their attacks, he said.
Rabbial Muslim Nasution, who carried out the Nov. 13 suicide bombing that injured six people, wore the familiar jacket of a ride-hailing company to get through the police compound’s check point.
The National Police have arrested 30 suspects in North Sumatra in connection to the attack.
“They were saying female members of the group should not wear full-face veils during an attack, but the idea got shut down by others in the group. Luckily, they didn’t get to execute their plots because we got them first,” the officer said.
The National Police’s cybercrime unit and counterterrorism squad Detachment 88 had recovered data about the militant group’s members from the laptop, including conversations on social media with their colleagues in Java and other places.
Police said the North Sumatra terrorist cell was part of the shadowy militant group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah blamed for the knife attack on ex-chief security minister Wiranto last month.
North Sumatra Police Chief Insp. Gen. Agus Andrianto earlier said members of the militant group, including Rabbial, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
“They wanted to show the group was still active after [Islamic State leader] Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi was killed,” Agus said.
“We are working with the Detachment 88 to crack down on the Islamic State network in North Sumatra,” he said.