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Police foil major bomb plot
US and Australian embassies were among the targetsPolice officers guard a house belonging to a suspected terrorist in Tambora, West Jakarta (photo Ryan Dagur)
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- October 29, 2012
The arrests took place at the weekend in several cities across Java following raids by a special anti-terrorism unit.
Two suspected terrorists were arrested in Madiun, East Java, on Friday, while three other suspects were arrested in Solo,¬†Central Java the same day.
On Saturday three more suspects were picked up in Bogor, West Java while the remaining three were detained in a raid in¬†Jakarta.
Police say they seized several bombs, as well as bomb-making material and manuals during the raids.
According National Police spokesman Inspector General Suhardi Alius, the suspected terrorists were all members of a¬†new Islamic group called the Sunni Movement for Indonesian Society.
‚ÄúThe targets of this group were the US Consulate General‚Äôs office in Surabaya, the US embassy in Jakarta, Plaza 89, which is located in front of the Australian embassy ‚Ä¶ and the Mobile Brigade headquarters in Srondol, Central Java,‚ÄĚ he told reporters on Saturday.
The Mobile Brigade is the oldest special operations unit in Indonesia‚Äôs National Police force.
The main targets were the diplomatic missions, according to terrorism experts.
‚ÄúIt is the same an old agenda, which is hostility toward the Western world,‚ÄĚ said Mufti Makarim, executive director of the Institute for Defense Security and Peace Studies.
These arrests serve as a warning to the government that attacks against the Western world remain a major objective of terrorist groups, he said.
The group also targeted the Mobile Brigade‚Äôs headquarters, probably because it saw the unit as its biggest threat, he added.
Police shoot dead two militants