Twelve kilograms of materials used to make explosives were uncovered in Bogor, West Java, on Wednesday after the owner of a farm tipped off the authorities.
The police’s bomb squad and counterterrorism unit, Densus 88, were dispatched to Cimahpar in North Bogor on Wednesday night to search a suspicious farm hut. Inside, they found eight chemicals used in the manufacture of high explosives, including sulfur, potassium, sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide.
Chief Comr. Saiful Anwar, the head of the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) in Bogor, said that the substances were being used to make bombs.
“They are similar to the explosives found in Jati Asih, Bekasi, last weekend,” he said, referring to a police raid on a terrorist hideout on the outskirts of Jakarta on Aug. 8.
The owner of the Bogor farm, Sugih Sugiarto, said that he had rented the property to two men and a woman about seven months ago. According to Sugih, they told him they were students who needed the hut for a 20-day research project.
Sugih said he grew suspicious after he saw news coverage of the raid in Jati Asih, because the terror suspects who were killed in that operation looked similar to his two male tenants. Sugih went to check the hut and found the explosive chemicals.
“I reported the finding to Bogor Police immediately,” he said.
Sugih said that he rarely saw the tenants and the last time he had met them was when he had asked them for a copy of their identification cards.
“They never gave me a copy of their ID cards, they kept saying they would give me the copy later,” he added.
The explosives materials were taken to Brimob headquarters in Depok, West Java, on Wednesday night. A police barricade was set up around the hut.
During the operation to remove the chemicals, however, one of the substances leaked onto the ground and created small sparks that made curious onlookers scatter.
National Police spokesman, Brig. Gen. Sulistyo Ishak, confirmed that the tip-off led police to the explosives find.
“We received a report from locals. The explosives are still in the forensics lab and we are still investigating if it is related to Noordin [M Top],” he said.