BATAM, Indonesia, Aug. 5 (UPI) — Indonesian police on Friday arrested six people suspected of plotting a rocket attack on downtown Singapore’s Marina Bay.
The suspects, age 19 to 46, were allegedly members of a militant group identified by police only as KGR@KatibahGR. They were arrested at various locations across Batam, an Indonesian island across the Strait of Singapore from the city. Authorities found a stash of weapons, but not rocket material.
The alleged ringleader, Gigih Rahmat Dewa, 31, was among those arrested.
The plot to fire rockets at the hub of Singapore’s commerce and tourism area was planned with the involvement of Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian currently fighting for the Islamic State in Syria, Channel News Asia reported Friday. Naim is believed to be a leader of a January attack in downtown Jakarta in which eight people were killed.
Singapore’s Health and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, expressing gratitude to Indonesian police, commented, “This does not come as a surprise. I have spoken several times, about plans being made in places just outside Singapore, to target Singapore; we were serious about the threats.”
“The attacks can come from terrorists who seek to come into Singapore; and they can come from terrorists who locate themselves just outside Singapore. Our small size increases these risks.”
The alleged militant group is accused of harboring two members of the Uighur minority group of Muslims in China, one of whom is linked to a suicide bomber who attacked a police station in Indonesia’s Java in July.
“Yes, there were indeed plans for the attack. But the plans did not materialize,” said Indonesian national police spokesperson Boy Rafli Amar, who added police have not yet determined a motive.