Indonesian militants planned to launch a rocket from Batam to Marina but involvement of social media during the same prevented it. Six terror suspects including an ISIS fighter have been arrested, reported Indonesian police.
Gigih Rahman Dewa along with five associates planned to execute the plan with the help of Bahrum Naim, a Syria-based Islamic State jihadi. It was social media buzz that blew their cover. Also, it fueled the investigation when Gigih changed his profile picture on the Line messaging app to a banner pledging Indonesian support and solidarity for ISIS (the Islamic State, or IS). If this wouldn’t have happened, the attack would have been successful.
The men in Batam seem to have been radicalised over social media, specifically using Facebook, rather than directly. They have been in communication with Bahrum Naim in Syria. It looks like he sent funds and instructions to them.
said police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar, referring to the suspected mastermind of the Singapore plot who left Indonesia in 2015 to join the frontlines of Islamic State. This shows how much Indonesia’s Islamist militants now rely on social media. Reports suggest that the men, aged between 19 and 46, were arrested from various locations across Batam in Indonesia.
Our security agencies have been coordinating closely with the Indonesian authorities since the discovery of this attack plot, to monitor the activities of the group and to apprehend those involved. We are grateful for the good cooperation by the Indonesian authorities and their actions to apprehend the group. The attack plot “highlights the seriousness of the terrorism threat to Singapore”.
a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs said while advising Singaporeans to remain vigilant.
Jakarta-based security analyst Sidney Jones said Naim was probably using virtually every available form of social media to reach to as many people as he could. This was making it difficult for counter-terrorist forces to track his followers. She commented,
They may have gotten one cluster but there are probably many other clusters out there.
Kasiman, chief of the neighbourhood association where Gigih lives in Batam, told a news source that the house had been under surveillance for about five months before Friday’s raid. Experts say a rocket attack on Singapore from a nearby island is feasible, but police found only a stash of bomb-making material, firearms and arrows during their search of the place.
Their terrorist action plans were in Facebook. They didn’t announce it but they were discussing it – communicating on social media between all the members.
Amar further told without giving details.