Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Militants planned 'bigger' Jakarta blast?

A suspect wanted in connection with hotel suicide bombings in the Indonesian capital infiltrated the national airline in a plot to carry out a "bigger attack," the police chief said.

The suspect, identified only as Syahrir, was recruited by a militant network and had been working as a technician with the airline, Garuda Indonesia, said National Police Chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri.

Documents seized by police uncovered the plot to strike Indonesia's airline sector, he said, without providing details about when or how the attack was supposed to have taken place.

Syahrir resigned from the airline and remains at large, Danuri said.

The blasts at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels on July 17 killed seven people and wounded more than 50 others, ending a four-year pause in terror attacks in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation.

Syahrir is the brother-in-law of a militant suspect shot dead by police earlier this month in an hours-long standoff in Central Java province, Danuri said.

The dead suspect, Ibrohim, had been working as a florist at the two hotels for years before smuggling in explosives and the bombers for the July attacks, police say.

Danuri declined to provide further information to reporters after making his comments to parliament's foreign affairs and security committee, but the details appear to support theories by terrorism experts that militants infiltrated potential targets years in advance.

Additional evidence was also found about a plot to assassinate President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in retaliation for the execution of three convicted Bali bombers in 2008. Danuri provided no further details.

Police were still searching for several suspects in the recent hotel bombings, including the alleged mastermind, Noordin Muhammad Top, said to head a breakaway faction of the regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah.

See full story from the original source:
Associated Press
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