World

Jakarta terror suspect worked as maid in Singapore

JAKARTA: A woman who was planning to be a suicide bomber had worked in Singapore as a maid.

Dian Yulia Novi was arrested in an anti-terror raid last week for plotting to attack the Presidential Palace in the capital.

The 27-year-old was arrested minutes after two men who delivered the bomb were ambushed by Densus 88, a counter-terrorism squad, in east Jakarta on Saturday.

A fourth man, who made the rice cooker bomb, was later caught in Karanganyar, Central Java.

In an interview with TVOne news channel broadcasted on Tuesday, Dian, who is from Cirebon in West Java, said she had worked in Singapore for 1½ years for a household with three children, aged five, nine and 11.

Indonesian media said she had worked here in 2014.

Dian was interviewed while in custody. She said she was "active" on social media and spoke in English while in Singapore.

While working as a maid, she wore a headscarf but not a veil, and she never took a day off, she said.

She had also worked as a maid in Taiwan for three years.

Dian said she was first exposed to radical Islam through Facebook while working as a maid abroad.

Said Dian: "On Facebook, I opened profiles of extremists, who had inspired me. I did not join any groups, just looked through but became more curious."

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She also collected articles and audio clips of religious teachings on the Internet.

When asked whether she feared God's wrath for wanting to hurt people on a massive scale, she said: "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'.

"It is an Arabic expression which means 'struggle for the sake of Allah'."

She said she was introduced to her husband, Nur Solihin, one of the three arrested in the raid, by somebody on social media, and she communicated with him on Telegram, an instant messaging service.

They got married three months ago, despite Dian knowing he was already married and has children.

The couple had not even exchanged photographs or met each other.

Dian did not turn up for her wedding, sending a representative for the marriage solemnisation, she said.

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