Indonesian police: ISIS wants Bahrun Naim to set up base in southern Philippines

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A notorious Indonesian-born ISIS fighter, Bahrun Naim, is being asked by ISIS to set up base in the southern Philippines and ally with local terrorist groups.

“These new cells are part of Bahrun Naim's network – several members of the Jamaah Ansarul Daullah (JAD) that are in Syria, including Bahrun Naim, Bahrumsyah, and Abu Walid alias Syaifuddin," said Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar, Head of the Indonesian Police Public Relations Division in Jakarta on Thursday, December 15. 

"According to the latest information, they have been assigned to Southeast Asia, with a base in southern Philippines. So we are still questioning the 10 people and inspecting the evidence."

Besides Bahrun Naim, Amar said several members of Jamaah Ansorut Daulah (JAD), who have been living in Syria have also been asked to move to the Philippines "like Bahrun Syam and Abu Whalid alias Syaifudin." 

Amar described Naim as the facilitator and recruiter of new ISIS cells in Indonesia. This is based on testimonies of terror suspects who have been arrested. The majority of them were in direct contact with Naim.

Amar said that as of Thursday, the Densus 88 special anti-terror squad had captured 11 terror suspects from the M. Nur Solikhin or MNS terrorist network that had planned to carry out an attack at the presidential palace. Two of the suspects were a married couple identified by the initials TS alias UA and HG. 

The couple was arrested in a rented house in Tasikmalaya, West Java on Thursday morning. TS is suspected to have introduced one of the other alleged terrorists, DYN, to MNS who later became her husband.

DYN, MNS, and one other person, identified by the initials AS, were arrested on Saturday, December 12. They were suspected of planning to bomb the presidential palace. Police found explosives in a rice cooker in DNY’s rented house in Bekasi, just outside of Jakarta, last Saturday. —Rappler.com

Corrections: This article previously reported that Bahrun Naim was already in the Philippines. We have corrected this in this updated article. Rappler Indonesia regrets this error.