THE woman would-be suicide bomber arrested last week a day before her planned attack at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, claims she received orders from an Indonesian fighting with the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.
In an interview with Indonesia’s TVOne, Dian Yulia Novi said she learned about jihad (Muslim holy war) from social media, especially Facebook, during her four-and-a-half year stint in Taiwan and Singapore where she had worked as a maid.
“Di Facebook-Facebook itu setahun belakangan saya buka status-status jihadis yang inspirasi saya,”
(Translated: On Facebook in the past year I opened profiles of jihadists, who had inspired me)
Dian, who is from West Java, also said she was influenced by articles from an Islamic website as well as Aman Abdurrahman, a radical cleric now serving time in Nusakambangan after he was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2010 for his involvement in military training in Aceh.
She had also communicated with the Indonesian IS fighter, Bahrun Naim, through the encrypted chat application Telegram on three occasions. She says it was he who decided the target of the attack.
In the interview, Dian was asked if she feared God’s wrath for wanting to carry out the suicide attack and hurting people on a massive scale.
“Ini bukan membunuh diri secara saya putus asah pingin mengakhiri hidup saya bukan. Tetapi membunuh diri ini…adalah untuk mendapati ridah Allah dan mendapatkan keutamaan jihad fi sabilillah” she said.
(Translated: This is not about committing suicide because I’ve given up and want to end my life. But this suicide is about getting blessings from Allah and getting priority in jihad fi sabilillah)
Dian, her husband and two other suspected militants were arrested by counter-terrorism police on Saturday after the authorities detected their plot to bomb a guard-changing ceremony at the presidential palace.
The arrest of Dian and three others was the latest in a security crackdown ahead of the New Year holiday season, amid concerns of a rise in Islamic State-inspired radicalism in Indonesia.
The police found a bomb encased in a rice cooker just in time when they raided a dormitory in Bekasi, a town about an hour outside of Jakarta. The discovery of the bomb also prompted the evacuation of a nearby neighbourhood.
The authorities also intercepted a letter written by one of the four suspects stating her intention to carry out jihad.
“The plan was to use the bomb at the presidential palace during the change of guard,” Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said in a statement.
Authorities believe the Islamic State has about 1,200 sympathisers in Indonesia and dozens are known to be fighting with the group in Iraq and Syria.
Additional reporting by Associated Press.