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Slain suspected terrorists targeted US Embassy: Indonesian police

JAKARTA — The police in Indonesia yesterday provided more details on planned attacks by six suspected terrorists who were killed during a New Year’s Eve shoot-out on the outskirts of Jakarta, including attacks on the United States Embassy, a church and hotels frequented by foreigners, media reports said.

Slain suspected terrorists targeted US Embassy: Indonesian police

Police officers patrol the area near a house that was used as a hideout by suspected militants following an overnight raid in Ciputat, Indonesia. Photo: AP

JAKARTA — The police in Indonesia yesterday provided more details on planned attacks by six suspected terrorists who were killed during a New Year’s Eve shoot-out on the outskirts of Jakarta, including attacks on the United States Embassy, a church and hotels frequented by foreigners, media reports said.

Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told reporters the police had seized a handwritten document from the house in Ciputat, in South Tangerang, revealing the group’s targets. The six suspects had been killed after a nine-hour gunfight with an elite anti-terrorism police squad, known as Densus 88.

“Take your pistols, holy warriors, and prepare to attack the US Embassy,” Mr Amar was quoted by AFP as saying as he read from the document during a press conference.

The document also listed “hotels harbouring the Central Intelligence Agency” and anti-terrorism police officers as targets. National Police Chief Sutarman said the men had targeted a church and Buddhist temples in retaliation for anti-Muslim violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, AFP reported.

The police linked the six men to a cell formerly headed by Abu Roban, a suspected militant who was killed in a police raid last year. The police said the cell is suspected of having links to terror network Al Qaeda.

One of the six terror suspects killed, Nurul Haq, was planning to wage jihad in Syria, the police said.

“Nurul Haq was planning to go to Syria to perform jihad and had completed the required preparations, such as passport and visa requirements as well as other necessities,” General Sutarman said on Thursday. He was quoted by Indonesia’s Antara News agency as saying that the group had connections with 72 senior militant figures, including terrorist Noordin Mohammad Top who was killed in 2009.

General Sutarman said Nurul Haq had been involved in training programmes on bomb assembly held in Poso, Central Sulawesi.

The six suspects have been linked to the terrorist group led by Abu Wardah Santoso — on the police’s most wanted list — in Poso, a flashpoint of terrorism in Central Sulawesi where a Muslim-Christian conflict killed at least 1,000 people from 1998 to 2002.

Police spokesman Amar on Wednesday said the men were suspected of being part of a larger group involved in robberies used to fund terrorist activities, mainly aimed at the police.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has been battling terrorists since bombings on the resort island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

However, only attacks of limited scope have been seen in recent years as the country has dismantled major militant networks.

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