Indonesia ‘foils attack plot on Shia and Christmas’

Counterterrorism police carry out series of raids and arrested at least six people suspected of supporting ISIL.

Senior officials warned of a possibly elevated threat of terror attacks during the year-end period [Reuters]

Indonesian counterterrorism police have carried out a series of raids and arrested at least seven people suspected of plotting attacks for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, local media reported

The reports said the group planned to target Shia communities and Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The Jakarta Globe on Sunday said the police rounded up three suspects in Central Java and three in West Java, and seized bomb-making materials and manuals during the raids.

A series of unrelated raids in East Java netted four suspected members of another “terrorist network”, the paper reported.

General Badrodin Haiti, the National Police chief, told the paper that the raids were prompted by intelligence from the US Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Australian Federal Police.

“This terrorist network was preparing for bombing attacks in various locations in Indonesia. They are a mix of ISIL supporters,” Badrodin said. “Some are ISIL members and others are sympathisers.”

Another source in the police told the paper: “Based on the outcome of initial questioning, the suspects said they were planning to bomb a series of Shia communities in Pekalongan [in Central Java], Bandung and Pekanbaru [in Riau].”

Senior officials had earlier this week warned of a possibly elevated threat of terror attacks during the year-end period, the paper reported.

It added that security has been beefed up at churches nationwide, while the president and the police chief have asked that public celebrations during both Christmas and New Year’s Eve be kept low-key.

Source: Al Jazeera