Indonesia arrests key suspect in suicide bomb attacks

Beni Asri suspected of involvement in suicide attacks on church in the Central Java town of Solo and on a mosque used by policemen in town of Cirebon.

By REUTERS
October 2, 2011 12:34
1 minute read.
Indonesia anti-terror police

Indonesia anti-terror police 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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JAKARTA - Indonesia authorities said on Sunday they had captured one of their four most-wanted militants in connection with two suicide-bomb attacks this year that rekindled fears of religion-related violence in the world's largest Muslim country.

The suspect, identified as Beni Asri, was arrested on Friday at his home in the town of Solok in West Sumatra, about 930 km km (578 miles) from the capital Jakarta, said police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam.

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Asri was brought to Jakarta to be questioned over a suicide bomb attack on a church in the Central Java town of Solo on Sep. 25 and a similar attack on a mosque used by policemen in the town of Cirebon in April.

"We have a week to investigate," Asri said.

Police suspect Asri has connections with members of a group founded by militant spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir who was jailed this year.

The blasts have threatened Indonesia's hard-won image for success in containing Islamist violence after a crackdown on the Jemaah Islamiah militant group, which was behind deadly assaults including the killing of 202 people, most of them foreigners, in Bali in 2002.

A court jailed Bashir, the spiritual leader behind the 2002 Bali bombings, to 15 years in prison for planning attacks against foreigners and plans to assassinate moderate Muslims, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The sentence was effectively life in jail for the 73-year-old Bashir.

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