From Indonesian maid to suicide bomber

suicide-bomberPETALING JAYA: An Indonesian woman, who was arrested last week over a plot to bomb the office complex of President Joko Widodo, had previously worked in Singapore as a maid, The Straits Times reported.

The 27-year-old woman was one of two women nabbed in an anti-terror operation by Indonesian police, who also arrested two men who delivered the bomb, and the bomb-maker at a different location.

Dian Yulia Novi told Indonesia’s TVOne news in an interview, which was broadcast on Tuesday, that it was in Singapore where she had first started to use the Internet and found out about extremist Islamic groups via Facebook.

“On Facebook, I opened profiles of jihadists, who had inspired me.

“I did not join any groups, just looked through, but became more curious,” she was quoted as saying in the interview, by the Singapore daily.

The initial exposure had piqued her interest and she admitted to collecting articles and audio clips of religious teachings on the Internet.

Though Dian was seen wearing a veil aside from a headscarf, she said she only wore the headscarf and no veil while working in Singapore.

“I also worked as a maid in Taiwan for three years, prior to going to Singapore,” she told the TVOne news reporter, adding that she used social media regularly and also spoke in English during her stint with a family of five in Singapore in 2014.

Dian was nonchalant about her desire to carry out the suicide bombing, saying she wanted to do it to get God’s blessing.

“This suicide bombing is not about me feeling hopeless and wanting to end my life, but to get the blessing from God and get priority in jihad ‘fisabilillah’,” ST quoted her as saying, and using an Arabic expression which means “struggle for the sake of Allah”.

Dian’s husband, Nur Solihin, was one of the three men arrested over the terror plot.

She told TVOne news that she met her husband through a mutual friend on social media, after which she continued to keep in touch with him via the Telegram messaging app.

Dian also claimed she was married to him though they had not actually met, as she had only sent a representative to attend the marriage solemnisation ceremony.

Straits Times reported that Nur Salihin was already married with children, a fact that Dian was also aware of.