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. and Australian embassies, police said Saturday.
The suspects were arrested in raids Friday and Saturday in four provinces, national police spokesman Maj. Gen. Suhardi Aliyus said.
He said the suspects belonged to a new group called the Sunni Movement for Indonesian Society, or HASMI.
Police seized a number of bombs, explosive materials, a bomb-making manual and ammunition, Aliyus said.
He said the group had plans 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 police special force in Central Java, he said.
It was unclear how far the plans had advanced.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, has been battling terrorists since the 2002 bombings in Bali by militants linked to the Southeast Asian network Jemaah Islamiyah which killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.
Subsequent attacks have claimed more than 50 people, mostly Indonesians. The government has arrested more than 700 suspected terrorists and killed dozens more in an attempt to root out militants.
Recent terror attacks in the country have been carried out by individuals or small groups and have targeted security forces and local “infidels” instead of Westerners, with less deadly results. The arrests announced Saturday appear to be the first in recent years to involve a group that allegedly planned to target foreign facilities.