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Indonesia police raid deadly anti-terror group

Publication Date : 02-01-2014


Indonesia's anti-terrorism police found a list of 50 Buddhist temples apparently targeted by terrorists after a New Year's Eve raid that left six suspects dead in a gun battle on the outskirts of the capital city.

Police had laid out an ambush on a hideout that began on early Tuesday.

They said the dead are part of the Abu Roban group, one of the country's deadliest terrorist groups. The Central Sulawesi Abu Roban has been involved in killing policemen and is led by Indonesia's most wanted terrorist, Santoso.

Four policemen were injured in the shoot-out.

Police raided the cramped 8m by 3m rental unit in south Tangerang, about 40km south-west of Jakarta. They found six homemade pipe bombs, more than 50 books, mostly on jihad, and cash amounting to 200 million rupiah (US$16,400), believed to be loot from goldsmith heists and other robberies carried out to fund their operations.

"Police also found a list of 50 Buddhist temples across Jakarta, in printouts. We believe these temples are their targets, like the Ekayana temple," Brigadier- General Boy Rafli said yesterday, referring to a bomb that went off last year in the Buddhist temple in West Jakarta, injuring three worshippers.

"They apparently picked the easy targets. What's important is we managed to foil the evil plan."

Tuesday's shoot-out happened a week after police received intelligence of a heightened terrorist risk during the end-of-year festive period and stepped up security measures.

It is also an indication of the ever-present threat of terrorism in Indonesia, which has now turned to avenging the ill-treatment of Muslim Rohingyas by Buddhists in Myanmar.

Four suspects are on trial for the bombing of the Myanmar embassy in May last year.

Analysts said groups like the Abu Roban have remained small- scale but are capable of funding other terrorist groups, in one case wiring as much as 47 million rupiah to a group in East Nusa Tenggara that is part of the Mujahidin Indonesia Barat Network.

Information from a terrorist suspect caught earlier on Tuesday afternoon in Banyumas, Central Java, led anti-terror policemen from the crack team Detachment 88 to the location in the evening.

The area was pitch black, said Brigadier-General Boy. "We told them to surrender but they responded with gunfire."

One suspect was killed as he tried to escape on a motorbike, and police killed another five in a gun battle. The dead were Daeng alias Dayat, Nurul Haq alias Dirman, Hendi, Oji alias Tomo, Rizal and Endo.

Police seized six handguns, black powder, potassium chloride, several newly completed electrical detonators, five 50cm-long knives, and 34 rounds of 9mm bullets. The suspects had been living there for nearly a year.

Meanwhile, anti-terrorism teams have homed in on another house in Delima Setu - an area neighbouring last night's raid - which they believe has more explosives.

"We are not done here. We are investigating to look for others who are in this network," said Brigadier-General Boy, who added that Tuesday's raid brought the total number of terrorists caught in the past two weeks to nine.

Police have crippled large terrorist networks in Indonesia, but these have been replaced by smaller groups planning small but sometimes deadly strikes against local targets.

Terrorism analyst Noor Huda Ismal said the police cannot let down their guard.

"What is worrying about these incidents is that they indicate that small groups are attempting to work together."


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