Indonesia police in deadly raid on ‘terror hotbed’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 5:09pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 5:09pm

Indonesian police on Wednesday shot dead one suspected militant, arrested two others and seized bombs during a raid in a central district that is considered a hotbed of terrorism.

The elite anti-terror squad stormed a house in Poso on Sulawesi island, the same district where two policemen were found murdered this month after going missing while investigating a suspected terror training camp.

It came after police at the weekend arrested 11 members of an Islamic group across Indonesia’s main island of Java whom they said were planning an attack on the US embassy.

The anti-terror squad, in an operation with local police, “killed a man and arrested two others” early on Wednesday, said provincial police chief Dewa Parsana.

National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told a local radio station the three men were “linked to terrorism activities”.

Police said 10 pipe bombs, a pistol, and chemicals that they believe could be used to prepare bombs were seized in the raid in Kalora village. There have been two failed bomb attacks in Poso this week.

Poso was the site of sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians between the late 1990s and mid-2000s that left thousands dead. It has since been described by police as a hotbed of terrorism.

The two policemen were found with their throats slit and buried in a hole after disappearing while investigating an alleged militant training camp linked to Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), according to a police source.

JAT, declared a terrorist organisation by the US in February, was founded in 2008 by cleric Abu Bakar Bashir. He is considered the spiritual leader of the al-Qaeda-linked network Jemaah Islamiyah, which is blamed for the deadly 2002 Bali bombings.