News24

Indonesia arrests terror suspects

2012-09-23 09:09

Jakarta - An elite anti-terror squad has arrested nine Islamic militants in Indonesia and seized a dozen homemade bombs from a group suspected of planning suicide attacks against security forces and the government, police said on Sunday.

Two suspects were arrested on Saturday in Central Java's Solo town after authorities received information about their whereabouts from other militants in the group who had recently surrendered, said national police spokesperson Brigadier General Boy Rafli Amar. The two were interrogated and led police to six other members of the group hours later in the same town. A ninth suspect was arrested late on Saturday in West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.

Amar said two of those arrested, Badri Hartono and Rudi Kurnia Putra, both 45, 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," Amar said. "They recruited, invited young men to be trained in a military-style jihadi camp and bought bomb-making materials."

He said the group had planned to bomb the country's Parliament building, shoot police and attack members of the anti-terrorism squad.

Police seized 12 homemade bombs and others that were partially completed along with three rifles, four swords and several jihadist books from the homes of three suspects, Amar said. Five bombs were safely defused late on Saturday at the scene in Solo, the hometown of convicted radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir.

Police are still investigating the possible link of the unnamed group to other terrorism networks, Amar said. Authorities believe it has now been largely broken up, but they continue to search for other members.