Santoso terrorist group running out of logistics: Agency

Head of the National Counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT) Tito Karnavian said Santosos terrorist group in Poso, Central Sulawesi, is running out of logistics and is now becoming weaker and weaker.

“The exchange of fire between Santoso members and the security officers two weeks ago cut off the logistics distribution lanes of the Santoso group,” Tito said after a ceremony held to observe the anniversary of the Armys Special Strike Forces (Kopassus) here Saturday.

His men also arrested two members of the Santoro group who emerged from their hideouts to look for logistics, he said.

The number of Santoso group has been reduced from 41 to 27 now, which includes two women, the BNPT predicted.

During the armys operation, the local people also took part and supported the operations, Tito said.

“We are supported by the people, as the people do not support them,” the BNPT chief said.

The Indonesian National Police will also provide a bonus to its personnel who are able to arrest Santoso, he said. Quoting Police Chief Badrodin Haitis statement, Tito added that the bonus would be given in the form of extraordinary rank promotion or scholarship.

“The bonus will be provided to arouse the spirit of personnel assigned there,” he said.

In order to arrest members of the Santoso group in Poso, the government has launched an operation with a special task force called the Tanombala task force.

The Tinombala task force team arrested two more alleged members of the Eastern Indonesia Mujahidin terrorist group under Santoso or Abu Wardah in Central Sulawesi, police said.

The two men, identified as IB alias AM alias ID (21), who joined the group in 2013, and SH alias Faqih (19), who joined it in 2015, were arrested near Poso Friday, police spokesman Brig. Gen. Agus Rianto said here Saturday.

The two arrests brought the number of the group members to 16 killed and arrested under the Tinombala operations by the police and the military.

Ten members of the eastern Indonesia Mujahiddin Group had been killed and four others were arrested by the security forces in Central Sulawesi, police said earlier.

“Four of them were caught alive while 10 others died,” the chief of the Central Sulawesi Police Brig. Gen, Rudy Sufahriadi said in Poso Friday.

The arrest of the two suspected terrorists coincided with the arrival in Poso of police chief Badrodin Haiti, chief of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT), Com. Gen. Tito Karnavian, and chief of the police Mobile Brigade Insp. Gen. Murad Ismail.

The three held a meeting with Brig. Gen. Rudy Sufahriadi and district military commander Col. Muhammad Saleh Mustafa and district police chief, Adj. Sen. Comr. Ronny to discuss the security situation in the region.

The Tinombala operation involving 2,500 military and police personnel was formed in January 2016, after strict orders of President Joko Widodo to wipe out the terrorist group, which had made Poso a security threat for years.

Source: Antara News