Terrorists on the Run: Wirayuda

KUALA LUMPUR ~ Islamic terrorists in Indonesia are on the run from authorities following recent successful raids, Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said this week, adding that more arrests could follow.

“We are not sure whether we have crippled them, but the fact is that they are on the run,” he said on the sidelines of a meeting of the D8 group of developing nations in Kuala Lumpur.

“We have uncovered various terrorist cells in the past few years, meaning that they are within our reach, and that’s why we feel more secure,” he told reporters.

Raids last week that yielded ten suspects and a safe house full of bombs and computers were a major blow against Southeast Asia’s most feared terror network, Jemaah Islamiyah.

Terrorism experts said the arrests appeared to have stopped a dangerous cell with regional links which was poised to launch a massive attack, probably against Western tourists on the island of Sumatra.

But they warned it did not mean the end of Jemaah Islamiyah or its most extreme faction leader, fugitive Malaysian extremist Noordin Mohammad Top, who is blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings.

Wirajuda said the subsequent police investigation could yield further arrests.

“But the problem is that since we uncovered their network … they are operating more and more in independent cells. When we arrest this group it does not automatically lead to others. On the surface they are not well connected,” he said.

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