x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Indonesia arrests 10 in terror raids

An elite Indonesian anti-terror squad has arrested 10 Islamist militants and seized a dozen homemade bombs from a group suspected of planning suicide attacks against the government.

JAKARTA // An elite Indonesian anti-terror squad has arrested 10 Islamist militants and seized a dozen homemade bombs from a group suspected of planning suicide attacks against the government, police said yesterday.

Eight suspects were arrested yesterday in Central Java's Solo town and a ninth in West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, the national police spokesman Brig Gen Boy Rafli Amar said. He said a 10th suspect, Joko Parkit, was arrested yesterday in Solo.

Brig Gen Amar said two of those arrested, Badri Hartono and Rudi Kurnia Putra, worked to recruit young men and taught at least one member of the group how to make bombs.

"They were the central figures of the group who had planned several terror attacks," Brig Gen Amar said. He said the group planned to bomb the country's parliament, shoot police and attack members of the anti-terrorism squad as part of a plan to establish an Islamist state in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation. Police seized 12 homemade bombs along with other partially assembled bombs, three rifles, four swords and Islamist literature.

Solo is the hometown of the convicted radical cleric, Abu Bakar Bashir. Police are investigating possible links between the unnamed group and other terrorism networks, Brig Gen Amar said. Authorities believe it has now been largely broken up, but are continuing to search for other members.

Since March, more than 30 militant suspects have been arrested and seven others killed in a series of raids in Indonesia. All are believed to have been plotting domestic attacks.

Another member of the group, the alleged bomb maker Muhammad Toriq, surrendered two weeks ago in Jakarta while carrying a gun. A second militant, Yusuf Rizaldi, gave himself up to police in North Sumatra three days later. Both provided information that led to the arrests of other members of the group in Saturday's raids, Brig Gen Amar said.