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Indonesian police arrest 2 on terrorist charges

January 21, 2014

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian police arrested two suspected Islamist extremists who they allege were poised to launch a bomb attack on officers, the force said on Tuesday.

The arrests late Monday in the east Javanese city of Surabaya, highlight the continued threat posed by extremists in Indonesia despite a sustained crackdown by authorities.

Militants acting in coordination with al-Qaida carried out a series of large attacks on western targets in the 2000s. Less professional groups now make up the main threat, mostly targeting police to avenge deadly raids on fellow extremists.

In a statement, police said Tuesday that officers seized bombs and bomb-making equipment from a rented house the men were staying in.

It said the men admitted to planning an attack on a police post in the city on Tuesday.

Others targets possible targets included a large prostitution complex in the city, Indonesian’s second largest.

Indonesia has more Muslims than any other nation, many of them devout, but in general the practice of the faith is less rigid and exclusive than in parts the Middle East and South Asia. But an extremist fringe has long existed, and has been energized over the last 15 years by global jihadi trends.

Lawyers for the men weren’t available.

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