Indonesia: Suspects planned attack on US Embassy

Associated Press Modified: October 27, 2012 at 11:32 am •  Published: October 27, 2012
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's anti-terror squad arrested 11 people suspected of planning a range of attacks on domestic and foreign targets including the U.S. Embassy and a site near the Australian Embassy, police said Saturday.

The suspects were arrested in raids Friday and Saturday in four provinces, national police spokesman Maj. Gen. Suhardi Alius said.

He said the suspects belonged to a new group called the Harakah Sunni for Indonesian Society, or HASMI.

"From evidence found at the scene, we believe that this group was well prepared for serious terror attacks," Alius said.

Police seized a number of bombs, explosive materials, a bomb-making manual and ammunition, Alius said. They also found a 3-kilogram (6.6-pound) gas cylinder filled with highly explosive material, which had been assembled at a house in the East Java town of Madiun. Videos and images of attacks on Muslims in various parts of the world were also recovered, he said.

Alius said the group planned to target the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and a plaza near the Australian Embassy and the local office of U.S. mining giant Freeport-McMoRan. It also planned to attack the U.S. Consulate in Surabaya and the headquarters of a special police force in Central Java, he said.

It was unclear how far the plans had advanced.

Alius said police are still investigating whether the group has ties with established terrorist organizations such as Jemaah Islamiyah. An investigator who spoke in condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to provide information to the media said HASMI's apparent leader, Abu Hanifah, was a Jemaah Islamiyah sympathizer.

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