JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Indonesian police announced Friday
they had uncovered and foiled a plot to assassinate the president
and other top officials, massacre foreigners in Mumbai-style
attacks and declare an Islamic state.
The attackers planned to launch their assault during this year's
Independence Day ceremony to be attended Aug. 17 by President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the country's top dignitaries,
national police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri told reporters.
The plot also included taking over hotels and killing
foreigners, especially Americans, in violence that would have been
reminiscent of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, he said. The plot was
revealed during interrogations of dozens of suspects arrested since
a February raid on a terrorist training camp in the western
province of Aceh, Danuri said.
"They were confident that all state officials and dignitaries
would be there," Danuri said. "Killing all the state officials
would have accelerated the transition from a democracy to a state
controlled by Islamic Shariah law."
Some of the newest information on the plot came from a series of
raids this week on militant hideouts in and around the capital that
yielded 20 arrests as well as a supply of assault rifles,
ammunition, telescopes and jihadist literature. Five suspected
militants were killed in those raids.
Most of those arrested were believed to have trained at the Aceh
camp, run by a group called al-Qaida in Aceh, a new splinter of the
Southeast Asia terror network Jemaah Islamiyah.
"If we had not detected them and their military training had
been successful, then they would have assassinated foreigners ...
as well as police and military posts in Aceh," Danuri said.
"Their plan was also to launch attacks in Jakarta against
foreigners - especially Americans - and attack and control hotels
within certain communities, imitating what happened in Mumbai," he
In November 2008, a group of young Pakistanis attacked luxury
hotels, a Jewish center and a busy train station in India's
financial capital, claiming the lives of 166 people.
Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population,
stipulates religious freedom in its constitution. The country has
been engaged in a long battle against militant extremist groups.