In mid-October 2019, the Indonesian police discovered that a cell of Jamaah Ansharud Daulah (JAD) – the largest pro-Islamic State (IS) network in Indonesia – had plotted a suicide attack against a local police station and a place of worship in using a bomb that contained the biological toxin agent abrin.
Police seized 310 grams of rosary pea seeds, the main ingredient of abrin. The police’s forensic test revealed that around 0.7 micrograms of abrin could kill 100 people.
This was the first assembled bomb in Indonesia that used a biological substance as one of its ingredients. However, this was the second terror plot in eight years that used biological agents. The first plot was in 2011, when a militant group in Jakarta attempted to kill policemen by poisoning the latter’s food using ricin, another biological agent.
There is the possibility that the Indonesian militant groups may still harbor an intention to use plant-based toxins for attacks. This is due to these agents’ availability and relatively simple production process for use in a small-scale attack.
Read the full story by V. Arianti, an Associate Research Fellow at the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), at The Diplomat