Jakarta, July 3 : With the arrest of ten persons linked to a regional terror network - Jeemah Islamiah (JI), the Indonesian Police claimed to have smashed a terrorist plot to bomb a cafe on Indonesia's Sumatra Island.
Nine of them were flown to Jakarta today, while the 10th remained in custody in Sumatra, reported news.com.au.
Those arrested have been linked to Noordin Mohammad Top's group which had a hand in 2002 Bali nightclub bombings killing 202 people, including 88 Australians, and three other attacks on Western targets in Indonesia.
'Top' is South East Asia's most wanted terrorist, and is believed to head a breakaway faction of JI that is committed to al-Qaeda style attacks on Western, civilian targets. He is said to have killed around 240 people, mostly foreign tourists.
Besides, a 35-year-old English teacher, linked to fugitive Mas Selamat bin Kastari, the alleged leader of JI's Singapore operations - is among the suspects arrested on the Indonesian Island this week. According to the police, the suspect, known only by his initials MH, had trained local hardliners in bomb-making.
Several complete bombs were uncovered in raids by the anti-terror squad Detachment 88 on Tuesday, a police spokesman said and added that they were intended for use in a cafe bombing like the ones that rocked the resort island of Bali in 2005.
The 'teacher' was arrested in South Sumatra on Saturday "based on a red notice issued by the Singapore government for involvement in the terrorist network of JI, which is a forbidden terrorism organisation in Singapore". It is unclear whether the man is Indonesian or Singaporean, but he has been linked to Kastari, who escaped from a Singapore detention centre three months ago, the police spokesman said, and added that the man had admitted instructing several people about how to make bombs in Palembang, Sumatra.
The Singaporean government has accused Kastari of plotting to hijack a plane in order to crash it into Singapore's Changi Airport in 2001.
Among the other suspects is the 35-year-old head of a local hardline religious group, and several of his followers described as "terror perpetrators". "(They are) involved in bomb assembling activities and had planned to bomb Bedudel Cafe in the Chinatown area of Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatra," the police spokesman said.