Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Indonesia says militants planned attacks each month

Compiled from (click to view): Reuters/Retno Palupi/ Sunanda Creagh and Japan Today/Kyodo

Police killed Noordin Mohammad Top, Indonesia's most-wanted militant, and three of his supporters earlier this month when they raided a house near Solo, Central Java.

They found laptops and explosives at the house, which they said contained details of the group's plans to attack targets including "symbols of the state" such as the president.

Malaysian-born Top, who headed a violent wing of the militant group Jemaah Islamiah, was considered the mastermind of bomb attacks on Jakarta's Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in July, and of previous bomb attacks in Bali and Jakarta which killed scores of foreigners and Indonesians.

His death has raised hopes that a serious security threat has been lifted in Southeast Asia's biggest economy One of the laptops found in the raid contained video of the two suicide bombers pretending to exercise in a field in front of the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels, police told a news conference.

The video was shot on June 21, and the hotels, which were bombed on July 17, were clearly visible in the video.

Another film showed one of the suicide bombers, identified as Dani, discussing suicide bombing as a form of jihad. "It's not suicide. It's God's instruction. To not do it is a sin," Dani said in the video clip.

Meanwhile, Petrus Reinhard Golose, chief of the cyber crime unit of the National Police, told a press conference Tuesday that another voice, heard on the footage, said, ‘‘The United States must be destroyed! Australia must be destroyed! Indonesia must be destroyed!’’

The voice was believed to be that of Syaifuddin Zuhri, who allegedly recruited the suicide bombers and shot the video. Zuhri, who is believed to have taken the place of Noordin Mohammad Top as recruiter of suicide bombers, remains at large.

The militants had clearly changed their strategy, Tito Karnavian, a member of the police anti-terror unit, told reporters, citing evidence that the police had found after a raid on a house in Jati Asih, West Java.

"In the past, they acted every year," he said, with the first big bomb attack in Bali in 2002, followed by the bombing of the JW Marriott in Jakarta in 2003, a bomb attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta in 2004 and another bomb attack in Bali in 2005.

"All of them were a year apart. After the last JW Marriott attack, they planned new attacks, according to the evidence we found in Jati Asih," he said.

"There would be 'serial attacks'. Every month, maybe, they would launch a new attack. The JW Marriott was in July," and the group had planned an attack near Jati Asih in August, he said.

Police previously said that the bombers at Jati Asih had planned to attack President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's residence nearby at Cikeas.

Suicide bombers preparing for Jakarta attacks in July (In Bahasa) – VIVA News/TV One