Report: Terror network has new hit squad in Indonesia

Jemaah Islamiyah squad believed to have about 100 operatives who would target both locals and foreigners.

jemma leader 88 (photo credit: )
jemma leader 88
(photo credit: )
Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah has set up an assassination squad and made a target list that includes police, judges and prosecutors, Indonesia's anti-terror chief said in a newspaper report published Monday. The hit squad is believed to have about 100 operatives who would target both locals and foreigners in Indonesia, Maj. Gen. Ansyaad Mbai told Singapore's Straits Times newspaper. The report did not say if the new group would try to kill any people outside Indonesia. He said the assassination plan was uncovered after a series of raids in Java last month that resulted in the detention of seven suspected members of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah. The Straits Times said investigators also found charts mapping out the group's new structure, as well as a large arms cache that included M-16 rifles, ammunition, detonators and more than 70 kilograms (154 pounds) of TNT explosives. Ansyaad said the target list included the rector of a Christian university in Central Java and an official of the Central Java Attorney-General's Office. "We also know from their propaganda that the West, the Christians, are their enemy. It is logical that they could target Christian priests," he was quoted as saying. Jemaah Islamiyah is seeking to create an Islamic state across Southeast Asia. The network has been blamed for a string of deadly bombings in Indonesia - the world's most populous Muslim country - in the last five years. It is considered responsible for the Oct. 12, 2002, bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali that killed 202 people. The group has been hard hit by a region-wide crackdown in recent years, resulting in hundreds of arrests. But authorities say it can still carry out attacks.