In Indonesia, counter-terrorism police have arrested six suspected militants on charges that they were allegedly planning to launch a rocket attack on downtown Singapore and its Marina Bay district from a nearby island.
According to a report from The Jakarta Post newspaper, the Indonesian men were taken into custody on Friday from a site on Batam Island, which is located about 15 miles southeast of the city state across the Singapore Strait.
“We have strong indications that the six men were planning to launch a rocket at Singapore’s Marina Bay from Batam,” said Boy Rafli Amar, spokesperson for the Indonesian National Police.
Amar stated that those arrested included the 31-year-old alleged leader of the enterprise, which is known as Katibah Gigih Rahmat and reportedly assists Indonesian militants wishing to travel to Syria, although he would not confirm whether police had found an actual rocket as part of the raid. He declared that the group has received funds from Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian fighting with the Islamic State terrorist group who has been linked to a succession of poorly executed attacks in the Asian nation including a suicide bombing outside police station in the city of Solo last month that killed the bomber.
Marina Bay is located close to the heart of downtown Singapore and is filled with office towers, waterside eateries and tourist attractions including the giant Marina Bay Sands resort casino, which is owned by American firm Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
The newspaper reported that Singapore authorities were aware of the planned rocket attack and had coordinated with their counterparts in Indonesia to help monitor the activities of the group and apprehend those involved.
Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation and has suffered from a wave of deadly attacks by members of the Jemaah Islamiyah militant network such as the 2002 bombing on the island of Bali, which killed 202 people including 88 Australian tourists. However, recent years has seen the group carry out smaller and less deadly strikes targeting government agencies such as police and anti-terrorism forces.