Suspected Terrorists In Indonesia Planned To Detonate Bombs In Java, Sumatra

Indonesian police have arrested nine suspected Islamic State supporters who were allegedly preparing terror attacks for later this month.

Police said members of the terrorist cell may have been planning a New Year’s Eve attack in Jakarta.

In a series of raids across the island of Java, Indonesia’s special anti-terror unit uncovered bomb-making materials and a black IS-style flag.

The arrests followed a tip-off from the Australian Federal Police and coincide with meetings to be held today in Jakarta between Australian Attorney-General George Brandis, counter-terrorism minister Michael Keenan and senior Indonesian politicians.

Those arrested include a teacher at an Islamic school and one of his students.

National police chief Badrodin Haiti said anti-terror police from unit Densus 88 acted after information received from the Australian Federal Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He said the men appeared to have prepared imminent attacks in Java and Sumatra.

The first arrest was made on Friday in the West Java city of Banjar.

That led to more raids across Java, including one on Saturday night in central Java, where police said they found bomb-making materials including fertiliser, ball bearings, nails and electronic switches.

Police would not say where the attacks were intended, but they noted they found a map of greater Jakarta with the bomb-making materials.

Authorities warned Indonesians to be wary of a likely terror threat over the next 10 days, even after the weekend raids.

Children ride a bike past a house with police tape around it.

Security stepped up to safeguard churches

Indonesia saw a spate of militant attacks in the 2000s, the deadliest of which was a nightclub bombing on the holiday island of Bali that killed 202 people, many of them Australian tourists.

Police have been largely successful in destroying domestic militant cells since then, but officials now worry about a resurgence in militancy inspired by groups such as Islamic State and Indonesians who return after fighting with the group.

Authorities plan to deploy more than 150,000 security personnel and several religious organisations to safeguard churches and public places around the country during Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations, the country’s military chief said on Friday.

Security and surveillance had already been stepped up in some areas following the attacks in Paris last month that killed 130 people and for which Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

Indonesia is home to an estimated 25 million Christian people, roughly 10 per cent of the total population.

They live mostly on smaller, more remote islands, not on the two most populated islands of Java and Sumatra.



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