JAKARTA, Indonesia — A suspect wanted in connection with hotel suicide bombings in the Indonesian capital had infiltrated the national airline in a plot to carry out a “bigger attack,” the national police chief told members of parliament Monday.
The suspect, identified only as Syahrir, had been recruited by a militant network and was working as a technician with the airline, Garuda Indonesia, said National Police Chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri. Documents seized by police uncovered the plot to strike in Indonesia’s airline sector, he said, without providing details.
Syahrir had resigned from the airline, but remains at large, Danuri said.
The blasts at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels on July 17 killed seven people and wounded more than 50 others, ending a four-year pause in terror attacks in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.
Syahrir is the brother-in-law of a militant suspect shot dead by police earlier this month in an hours-long standoff in Central Java province, Danuri said.
The suspect who was shot, Ibrohim, had been working as a florist at the two hotels for years before smuggling in explosives and the bombers for the July attacks, police say.
Danuri declined to provide further information to reporters after making his comments to the national foreign affairs and security committee.
Police are still searching for several suspects in the hotel bombings, including the alleged mastermind, Noordin Muhammad Top, said to head a breakaway faction of the regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah.
Indonesia suffered bombings between 2002 and 2005 that together killed more than 240 people, most of them foreign tourists on the resort island of Bali. The J.W. Marriott was bombed once before, in 2003.