Indonesian police arrest 5 suspected of being militants 

By Peter Gelling Published: October 22, 2008

JAKARTA: The Indonesian police said Wednesday that they had arrested at least 
five suspects linked to regional Islamic terrorist groups during raids in two 
neighborhoods in and near Jakarta.

The police said they were still searching for another two men who had managed 
to escape before the police arrived.

One of the raided houses, located on the north side of Jakarta, is close to a 
state-owned oil storage facility, prompting the police to suggest that the men 
might have been planning an attack there. At the house, the police said they 
discovered bomb-making instructions, chemicals and various weapons.

The police identified one of the suspects as Rusli Mardani, a member of the 
local terrorist group Kompak, who is widely believed to have been be an 
instigator of anti-Christian violence in the city of Poso on the island of 
Sulawesi, which has a large Christian population.

"Rusli Mardani is one of the most active members of Kompak in Poso," said 
Sidney Jones, director of the International Crisis Group in Jakarta. "He is a 
big fish, one of the people who has stirred up a lot of communal violence."

The police said several of the suspects might have connections to one of 
Southeast Asia's most wanted militants, the Malaysian-born Noordin Top, who 
some analysts say may have started a splinter group and who is believed to be 
responsible for several major bombings in Indonesia.

"Noordin M. Top is our first priority; we've been after him for a long time," 
the national police spokesman, Sulistyo Ishak, said in an interview by 
telephone. "We think these men might be connected to Top because the 
sophisticated bomb-making materials were similar to those used by Top in the 

In July, the Indonesian police raided a house in Sumatra, arresting nine men, 
believing Top might have been there. So far, however, he has evaded the 
Indonesian authorities.

Indonesia's fight against Islamic extremism, led by the anti-terror squad known 
as Detachment 88, is considered to be one of the world's most successful. The 
militant wing of Jemaah Islamiyah has been seriously weakened in recent years 
after the capture or death of several of its leaders, including the master 
bomb-maker Azhari Husin, a close associate of Top who was killed in 2005.

The arrests Wednesday came one day after three men convicted for their roles in 
the 2002 bombings in Bali that killed 202 people lost their appeal to be spared 
execution by firing squad. Analysts have expressed concern that the executions, 
expected soon, could lead to revenge attacks.

Sulistyo said that so far there was no evidence to suggest that the activities 
of the five arrested Wednesday were related to plans to execute the Bali 



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