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World

Indonesia says 7 arrested, foiling holiday attack plot

Associated Press

MOJOKERTO — Indonesia's anti-terror squad has arrested seven men suspected of planning Christmas or New Year's attacks in the world's most populous Muslim nation, police said Sunday.

Abdul Karim, known by his alias Abu Jundi, was captured Saturday in Sukoharjo, a town in Central Java province, a day after three other suspected militants were nabbed in two separate locations in West Java province, said local police chief Lt. Col. Andi Rifai.

He said Jundi is believed to have expertise in shooting and bomb-making because of his membership in Jemaah Islamiyah, an al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian group blamed for the deadly 2002 nightclub bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Their interrogation led police to arrest three other group members in Mojokerto town in East Java on Sunday, said Lt. Col. Budhi Herdi Susianto, another police chief in Mojokerto.

Police seized bomb-making devices from the men's homes, but no explosive materials were found.

Susianto said the men were using emails and phone conversations to plan attacks during the upcoming holiday celebrations.

"A police investigation managed to reveal their plan to launch a terror attack during Christmas or New Year's Eve celebrations," Susianto said, without elaborating.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has seen a spate of deadly attacks by the Jemaah Islamiyah network, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. Strikes in recent years have been smaller and less deadly and have targeted government authorities, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces.

The government will deploy more than 150,000 security personnel to safeguard churches and public places around the country during Christmas and New Year's, National Police Chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti said.

ABDUL KARIM

ABU JUNDI

ANDI RIFAI

BADRODIN HAITI

BUDHI HERDI SUSIANTO

CENTRAL JAVA

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR

EAST JAVA

JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH

NEW YEAR

POLICE

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