Monday, December 26, 2016

Indonesia Steps Up Counterterror Efforts After Killing 2 Militants in Shootout

Indonesian authorities say they are planning more counterterrorism operations after killing two militants who were suspected of planning an attack on a police post during a shootout on Christmas Day.

National police spokesman Rikwanto said investigators are trying to get more information about planned attacks from at least 14 suspected terrorists with connections to Islamic State who have been arrested in recent weeks.

“We believe there are still group members that plan to carry out such deeds to disrupt events such as Christmas and New Year’s,” Rikwanto told reporters Monday in Jakarta.

The latest plot was foiled after police arrested two militants who led them to their hideout, where police fatally shot two other militants after police said they tried to attack the officers with machetes. Rikwanto said the four militants planned to attack a police post in Purwakarta, an area about 100 kilometers east of the capital of Jakarta.

The raid was the latest in recent weeks that disrupted planned attacks, increasing concern that militants in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country are becoming more fearless.

Police said last week that the suspected terrorists in custody are being questioned about plots to bomb the presidential palace in Jakarta and another facility in an undisclosed location. Both plots involved female suicide bombers, a new strategy for militants in Indonesia.

Police are still trying to determine whether the militants involved in the plot that was disrupted Sunday were trying to make explosive devices.

The suspects were members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a group that supports Islamic State.

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