Two arrested over failed Indonesian bomb attack

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 November, 2012, 4:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 November, 2012, 4:19pm

Indonesian police have arrested two suspected militants for involvement in a failed bomb attack on a provincial governor on Sulawesi island, a spokesman said on Monday.

One of the suspects threw a pipe bomb on Sunday at the South Sulawesi provincial governor Syahrul Yasin Limpo, who was giving a speech on a stage in Makassar city.

The bomb failed to explode, said national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar.

“Following the suspected terrorism activity in Makassar, we arrested two men. They had been the target of the anti-terror police Detachment 88,” he said, adding that police also seized a revolver and five bullets.

The spokesman said the pair were part of a terror group in the Poso district of Central Sulawesi province, where there had been three failed bomb attacks in the past week.

“Police are still questioning them,” he said.

Two policemen were found dead in Poso last month with their throats slit. They disappeared while investigating an alleged terror camp linked to extremist Islamist group Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT).

JAT, declared a terrorist organisation by the United States, was founded in 2008 by cleric Abu Bakar Bashir. He is considered the spiritual leader of the al-Qaeda-linked network Jemaah Islamiyah, which carried out the 2002 Bali bombings when 202 people were killed.

Poso was the scene 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.

Police last month arrested 11 members of an Islamic group across Indonesia’s main island of Java whom they said were planning to attack the US embassy.