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Solo. Police said on Monday that they had foiled a terrorist attack on Singapore’s Changi Airport with the arrest of two suspects in Central Java last month.
Solo Police Chief Sr. Comr. Joko Irwanto said members of the Detachment 88 antiterrorism squad apprehended on June 21 Sigit Hendrawan, 50, a resident of Sumberejo village in Malang, East Java; and Husaini, a Singaporean citizen.
“The two were suspected of being in Solo to prepare a bomb attack on Changi Airport in Singapore, but [officers] got to them first,” Joko said, adding that the pair had since been transferred to National Police headquarters.
The National Police previously stated that Husaini had been wanted for alleged involvement in separate plot to bomb Changi in 2001, but later fled to Indonesia.
Hendrawan was arrested after attending his children’s graduation at the Darusy-Syahadah Islamic boarding school in Boyolali, some 15 kilometers from Solo, His wife and two sons were also detained, but were eventually released.
Joko said Hendrawan was believed to be a member of the inner circle of wanted Malaysian terrorist Noordin M Top, while Husaini was close to Noordin’s Singaporean associate, Mas Slamet Kastari. Slamet, believed to be a commander of the Singaporean arm of the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist network, escaped detention in Singapore in February 2008 before being recaptured in April in Johor, Malaysia. Noordin remains at large.
Police tracked Hendrawan by reviewing activity in his PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia bank account, which included a series of large transfers of money from Singapore every two weeks.
Joko said the funds were likely tied to Slamet and Noordin, “and especially to the plan to bomb Changi Airport.”
He gave no further details, but said Hendrawan had moved from house to house several times to avoid police detection.
He also said that Husaini’s capture had led to the July 22 arrest in Central Java of Noordin’s alleged wife Arina Rochma and her mother. Arina’s father, Baharuddin Latif, remains at large.