Indonesian anti-terrorism police Densus 88 have detained three former students in a raid on a university campus in Pekanbaru, on Saturday June 2, and seized crude bombs and other explosive materials, police said.
The men are thought to have been planning to attack the local parliament in Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau province, national police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said in a statement.
During Saturday’s raid on a faculty at Riau University, police found a pipe bomb, a homemade grenade, as well as the homemade explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP), known as the “mother of Satan”, Wasisto said.
They also seized an air rifle and sets of bows and arrows, as well as other materials such as fertiliser that could be used to make bombs, he said.
Authorities have highlighted concerns about a rise in radicalism at universities in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country. A number of recent surveys of students have pointed to significant support for Islamic State, carrying out jihad and the establishment of a caliphate in Indonesia.
After some major successes tackling Islamist militancy in the last two decades, there have also been a resurgence of attacks in recent years.
Last month, police shot dead four men who used samurai swords to attack officers at police headquarters in Pekanbaru. That attack came soon after a series of suicide bombings by militants targeting churches and a police building in Indonesia’s second-biggest of city of Surabaya.
Photo courtesy of ANTARA FOTO/Rony Muharrman