The deadly terror attacks that struck the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Thursday was said to have been masterminded by a local jihadist who joined the Islamic State in Syria -- Mohammed Bahrun Naim.
Naim, who had a run-in with the national police's counter-terrorism wing in 2010 for illegally possessing firearms, perpetrated the terror attacks in Jakarta in order to emerge as the head of Isis' Southeast Asia branch, the Jakarta police chief said, according to The Jakarta Post.
Last month, Australia had warned that Indonesia had become an "object of ambition" for the Islamic State as it sought to build a "distant caliphate" in the country.
"In Southeast Asia, there is a figure named Bahrun Naim who established (the radical group) Katibah Nusantara. He wants to become the leader of the Southeast Asian Isis branch. Several figures in Asia are competing against each other," Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said on Friday, according to the local newspaper.
Naim had also extended his influence up to China, having funded extremists within the Uighur Muslim community in the country, according to BBC. He was said to be the link between the East Indonesia Mujahidin Group and the Islamic State group.
Naim, who used to run an Internet cafe in Indonesia's Solo city till his arrest in 2010, had warned of an impending Isis strike in Indonesia through a blog published days after the 13 November Paris terror attacks.
On the Telegram social messaging platform, Naim had told his followers in Indonesia to move from guerrilla warfare to jihad, according to Reuters. He had also advised them to study how the Paris attackers planned and coordinated the attacks.
Last August, he called on "lone wolves" to "rise up against the Indonesian archipelago".
He had told Reuters that there were many Isis supporters in Indonesia to "carry out action" who were "just waiting for the right trigger."
The Indonesian police believe that he travelled to Syria last year after, his release from prison after being convicted of possessing illegal firearms, and is currently in Raqqa.
"It's good here in Syria. There's electricity, accommodation, water and it's free. The services provided by them (Islamic State) are good, cheaper than in Indonesia," Naim had told Reuters.
Indonesia arrested three men on Friday for suspected links to the Jakarta attacks, that left two civilians -- a foreigner and an Indonesian -- dead.
Indonesian media reported that the three were arrested from the Depok area south of Jakarta.