Indonesian police arrest 2 suspected militants

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Associated Press

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 8:37 AM

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's elite anti-terrorism squad arrested two suspected militants, including a would-be suicide bomber, in connection with a plot to bomb the Myanmar Embassy, police said Thursday.

Sigit Indrajit, who allegedly masterminded the foiled attack planned for early this month, was captured Wednesday night in the northern Jakarta area of Tanjung Priok, said National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar.

The second militant, identified only as Rohadi, was taken early Thursday from his home in Tangerang in neighboring Banten province, Amar said. He said police seized explosive substances, including sulfur powder and black powder, as well as a glue gun, cables, an iron pipe and other materials that can be used to make bombs.

"He was a fugitive who allegedly planned an attack on the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta," Amar said of Indrajit. "He has links to two other suspects arrested earlier in Jakarta."

Early this month, police arrested two suspected militants — Achmad Taufiq and Sefa Riano — in Jakarta, the capital, and seized five homemade bombs from a backpack they were carrying. Other explosive materials were found later at their rented house in southern Jakarta. The two told authorities they wanted to retaliate against Myanmar for recent attacks there on Rohingya Muslims.

Sectarian violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar has killed scores of people, and tens of thousands of Muslims have been driven from their homes.

According to Amar, Indrajid escaped when police raided his rented house in Pamulang district, also in Banten province, early this month. Police seized books, a hand phone and a camera.

"Indrajit was said to be prepared as the executor or suicide bomber for the attack," Amar said.

It was the first time police revealed the foiled plot as a planned suicide attack. The foiled attack was planned for a few days after the jailed spiritual leader of al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Bakar Bashir, made a call from prison for jihad and urged Indonesian Muslims to go to Myanmar to fight.

Last year, Bashir sent a letter to Myanmar's president threatening to attack the country over its persecution of the Rohingya. One month later, Muhammad Toriq, a would-be suicide bomber, surrendered to police after a change of heart, saying he had contemplated targeting Buddhists over the Rohingya issue.

State prosecutors on Thursday sought an eight-year jail term for Toriq.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has seen a spate of deadly attacks by members of Jemaah Islamiyah, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

However, in recent years, smaller and less deadly strikes have been targeting the government, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces. Police said Taufiq and Riano, the suspected militants arrested earlier this month, were part of a cell allegedly involved in recent attacks against Indonesian police.

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