JI-linked Singaporeans Arrested

JAKARTA ~ Five Singaporeans and an Indonesian allegedly linked to key militants of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) regional jihadi network have been arrested in Indonesia, police said this week.

The suspects, five of whom are related, were arrested in a series of raids across Indonesia in the space of a week, national police criminal investigations chief Susno Duadji told reporters.

“One Indonesian was arrested in (the Central Javanese town of) Cilacap on suspicion of terrorist acts. He’s linked to the Palembang group,” Duadji said, referring to a JI cell on Sumatra island behind the murder of a Christian teacher and a plot to blow up a tourist cafe.

Two of the arrested Singaporeans were connected to the cell’s leader, Singaporean Mohammad Hasan bin Saynudin, and top militant Mas Selamat bin Kastari, Duadji said.

Kastari, the alleged head of JI’s Singapore wing, was captured in Malaysia in May more than a year after dramatically escaping from a detention centre in the city state.

He is alleged to have plotted to hijack an airliner in Bangkok and crash it into Singapore’s Changi airport – one of Asia’s busiest – in 2001 following the September 11 attacks in the United States.

“The Singaporeans were arrested on suspicion of forging identification documents, breaking immigration rules and giving false information. They made identity cards as Indonesians when they were not. That’s forgery,” Duadji said.

Duadji said Indonesian and Singaporean police had worked together in the arrests.

“It is the foreign ministry’s responsibility whether to deport or extradite (the Singaporeans),” he said.

JI has been blamed for a series of attacks on non-Muslims and Westerners in Indonesia, including the 2002 and 2005 bombings in Bali that killed over 200 people.

There have been no major bombings in Indonesia since 2005 due to a police crackdown and internal divisions within JI.

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