Indonesian police have arrested ten suspected terrorists with alleged links to Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and al-Qaeda.
Police counterterrorism unit Densus 88 arrested the men-- who had been on Indonesia's Most Wanted List (DPO) for a decade-- during May raids in Java and Sulawesi, National Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said.
"They were arrested at different times and places," he told Khabar Southeast Asia at his office on May 21st, adding later the suspects were "linked to al-Qaeda and JI cells".
According to the Jakarta Globe, two were involved in the 2005 bombing of the Tentena market in Central Sulawesi that killed 22 people. The Jakarta Post reported during the arrests, police also seized weapons and explosives.
Boy released a list of the ten suspects.
Suspect Ibnu Khaldun (also known as Bondan, Royan, Sularno, or Gunawan) was arrested on a bus in Indramayu, West Java.
"Ibnu had attended a military training with Abu Sayyaf's group in the Philippines from 1999 to 2002," Boy said.
Information given by Ibnu led to Densus 88 arresting other suspects including Ramuji (alias Kapten) in Lamongan, East Java, Boy said.
Six other suspects – Suyata (alias Suyoto), Galih Setiawan Badawi Rachman, Slamet Sucipto, Abdul Rofiq, Rohmat Jauhar Arifin (alias Nano) and Muhammad Yusuf (alias Kuswoyo) were all arrested in Klaten, Central Java.
Police were still investigating whether those arrested in Klaten are connected to the Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT), Boy said.
The last two suspects – Gunawab and Andi Alkautsar – were arrested respectively, in Semarang, Central Java and in Wajo district, South Sulawesi.
JI: still a threat
The arrests of the suspected JI members come as Indonesia gears up for the July 9th presidential election.
"Their movement and actions are now much smaller but they are still present and operating," terrorism expert Wawan Purwanto said of JI during a phone interview with Khabar.
Terrorism in Indonesia cannot be separated from JI, and therefore the terror group must be disbanded once and for all, As'ad Said Ali, former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy director told Khabar.
"If Indonesia disbands JI, it will also disrupt their network overseas. We also need to monitor for JI members who have already trained overseas, including in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, and the Philippines," As'ad said.
In addition, all underground movements and military training must be dismantled, he added.
"If we can do so, all of these radical actions and terrorism in Indonesia will completely disappear, including its roots."