PNP gun used by Indonesian terrorists?
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) is investigating whether a PNP-issued firearm was used by a terrorism suspect shot down by security forces in Indonesia.
According to the Jakarta Post, a 9mm Beretta pistol with the marking "Property Philippines National Police" on its side was recovered by Indonesian police after the August 31 anti-terrorism operation in Surakarta, Central Java province, which ended with two 19-year-old suspected militants and one officer dead after a shoot-out.
The PNP has yet to verify the authenticity of that "sketchy" report, spokesman Chief Supt Generoso Cerbo Jr. said on Thursday, September 13.
Cerbo explained they are now trying to obtain the serial number of the firearm in order to trace the owner.
It is possible that the gun was sold to the terrorists, taken from the PNP during an encounter, or stolen, he added.
Indonesian officials said the suspects were members of Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), founded in 2008 by Indonesia's so-called father of Islamic militancy, Abu Bakar Bashir.
JAT was dubbed a terrorist organisation by the United States earlier this year and has been linked to smaller new terror cells in the village of Ngruki, a hotbed of militant activity on the main island of Java.
The raid was led by the elite anti-terrorism unit Detachment 88, credited with a successful crackdown on these groups over the last decade, claiming the scalps of some of the country's most notorious terrorist suspects blamed for major attacks.
Detachment 88 has faced criticism, however, for using excessive force and targeting separatists and pro-independence activists.
Muslim-majority Indonesia has suffered dozens of deadly attacks by terror network Jemaah Islamiyah -- blamed for the Bali bombings in 2002 that left 202 dead -- but there has not been a major incident in recent years. - Rappler.com, with reports from Agence France-Presse