President Says Country Faces Terror Threat from Ex-Prisoners

JAKARTA

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Monday that the country needed to remain vigilant for terror threats posed by militants released from jail.

“Although prominent figures who caused trouble in this country for the last 10 years had been paralysed… they continue to carry out terror acts after their release from jail,” Yudhoyono told reporters.

National police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri said on Friday that 58 terror suspects had been arrested and 13 people killed in anti-terror operations nationwide since the discovery of militant training camp in Aceh in February.

But he said others were still at large, including Abdullah Sunata and a senior regional terror leader, Umar Patek.

Sunata was jailed in 2006 for possessing illegal weapons and protecting slain regional terror leader Noordin Mohammad Top.

After Sunata’s release in April 2009 he led a militant group in terror attacks including a plot to kill Yudhoyono and foreigners during an independence day celebration on August 17, police said.

“They continue to commit terror acts as they wanted to turn Indonesia into an Islamic country,” the president said.

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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