Jakarta police arrest two in embassy plot

Indonesian police at the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta on May 3.

JAKARTA - Indonesian police have arrested two suspects in a foiled plot to attack the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta three months ago.

M. Syaiful Sabani, alias Ipul, 26, was arrested late last Friday at a hotel parking lot in Yogyakarta, along with his brother-in-law, Bayu Dwi Ardianto, 21.

In an SMS sent to reporters on Sunday, chief police spokesman Ronny Sompie said Syaiful knew about plots against the Buddhist community and the embassy and was wanted by the police.

Syaiful, born in Kebumen, Central Java, also took part in paramilitary training on Mount Salak in January, and helped fund a Quran recital group led by a bomb-maker - named Rohadi - involved in the foiled embassy plot, Brigadier-General Ronny said.

The police are investigating whether Bayu, a younger brother of Syaiful's wife, is also involved in terrorism, as he was with Syaiful when the arrest took place.

"We appeal to all citizens to be alert about what is going on in their surroundings and to report any irregularity," police spokesman Agus Rianto said at a media briefing on Sunday.

Friday's arrests came as the police were investigating those behind the Aug 4 attack on a Buddhist temple in a busy West Jakarta neighbourhood. Three worshippers were injured by a low- intensity bomb.

Asked if Syaiful was also behind the Buddhist temple attack, Colonel Agus said the police were investigating the possibility.

He added: "We don't rule out that these terror networks are interlinked."

In late May, anti-terrorism police arrested an alleged mastermind of the Myanmar Embassy attack and a bomb-maker suspect. Suspected mastermind Sigit Indrajit was caught on May 22 in North Jakarta.

The suspected bomb-maker Rohadi was caught several hours later during a raid on his house in Tangerang, about 25km from the capital.

There, a bomb squad found fertilisers weighing 1kg, sulphur, black powder, a glue gun, cables, fire powder and a pipe.

The police have said they are linked to Achmad Taufiq, 21, and Sefa Riano, 28, who were caught in Jakarta on May 2. The two had five pipe bombs on them, allegedly meant for the Myanmar Embassy the following day.

In May, the police arrested about 30 suspects and killed eight others across Java.


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