Bashir terror link to embassy 
Peter Alford, Jakarta correspondent 
From: The Australian 
August 11, 2010 12:00AM 

INDONESIAN officials say Australia's Jakarta embassy was targeted by a 
terrorist group allegedly associated with cleric Abu Bakar Bashir. 

However, an attack was only under discussion.

The Australian mission, bombed in 2004 at the cost of 10 lives, was one of at 
least two embassies and several tourist hotels under consideration by a 
putative bombing operation broken up at the weekend in West Java by Detachment 
88, the police counter-terrorism taskforce.

"It's always that way," the government's anti-terrorism co-ordinator, Ansyaad 
Mbai, said yesterday when asked if the embassy had been targeted.

Detachment 88 chief Tito Karnavian said the Australian mission was one of the 
targeted embassies, though he said planning was in "early stages".

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said yesterday it was "not 
appropriate" to discuss embassy security.

"We are aware of press reports that a senior Indonesian official has claimed 
that the Australian embassy in Jakarta was one of at least two embassies 
targeted by individuals recently arrested in Indonesia," the spokesman said in 
a statement.

Indonesian police claim five alleged plotters arrested at the weekend belong to 
Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid, an ostensibly non-violent fundamentalist movement 
founded two years ago by Bashir, whose conviction for conspiring in the 2002 
Bali bombings by Jemaah Islamiyah was overturned on appeal.

The weekend raids on three locations allegedly uncovered a bomb laboratory, a 
vehicle being prepared as a car-bomb, plans to attack police headquarters in 
Jakarta and Bandung, and a target list of at least two foreign embassies and 
several tourist hotels.

However, International Crisis Group's Sidney Jones, an authority on Islamic 
terrorism in Southeast Asia, said yesterday it was unlikely any specific plans 
had been developed against the targets by the West Java group.

Related Coverage
  a.. Bashir charges need to stick The Australian, 2 hours ago
  b.. This time case on cleric should stick The Australian, 1 day ago
  c.. Smiling Bashir arrested in Java The Australian, 1 day ago
  d.. Cleric Bashir 'arrested for terrorism' The Australian, 1 day ago
  e.. Abu Bakar Bashir linked to kill plot Herald Sun, 1 day ago
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