ALERT – Plot Foiled to Kill President: Police

JAKARTA

Police said on Friday they had foiled a plot by militants to kill President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in an attack on the presidential palace during independence day celebrations on August 17.

“They planned to target Indonesian president (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono), state officials and foreign guests attending the ceremony,” national police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri told a press conference.

He said that the planned attack was inspired by one carried out by the Islamist militants who killed 166 people in Mumbai, India, in November 2008.

The Indonesia militants “planned to launch a series of assassinations in Java and Jakarta with their specific target foreigners, especially Americans, and the Indonesian president,” he said.

They also planned to lay siege to hotels, “copying what had occurred in Mumbai,” he said.

The police chief was speaking at a briefing on raids carried out by counter-terror police after the discovery of a terrorist training facility in Aceh, in northern Sumatra, in February.

Danuri said 58 terror suspects have been arrested and killed in the raids over the past three months.

On March 9 police killed the alleged leader of the Aceh group, Dulmatin, who was considered one of the masterminds of the 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali that killed 202 people, mostly Western tourists.

Dulmatin had been a leader of regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) but analysts believe the Aceh group was a new, more extreme outfit which combined militants from various Islamist organisations around Southeast Asia.

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