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Police raids sweep up suspected Islamists in Indonesia

Indonesian police have said they have broke up a deadly plot with the arrest of several men linked to a planned suicide bombing in Jakarta during New Year's celebrations. At least six men were arrested.

An anti-terror squad in Indonesia has arrested at least six men suspected of planning attacks over the holiday season in the world's most populous Muslim nation, police said Sunday.

"A police investigation managed to reveal their plan to launch a terror attack during Christmas or New Year's Eve celebrations," Police Lt. Col. Budhi Herdi Susianto told the Associated Press.

Among the arrested was Abdul Karim, known by his alias Abu Jundi, in Sukoharjo, a town in Central Java province. His arrest came a day after three other suspected militants were nabbed in two separate locations in West Java province.

Authorities claimed some of the men had links to Jemaah Islamiyah, an al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian group blamed for the deadly 2002 nightclub bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Police also seized chemicals, laboratory equipment and a black flag inspired by the Islamic State group in a separate investigation. Among those arrested were Asep Urip, a 31-year-old teacher at an Islamic boarding school in Central Java, and his 35-year-old pupil Zaenal, whom police allege was being "groomed" to carry out an attack.

"From early information, it's known that Zaenal was a candidate for a suicide bombing in Jakarta to be conducted on New Year's 2016," police wrote in documents seen by AFP.

Indonesia suffered several major bomb attacks by Islamist militants between 2000 and 2009, including the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people.

Indonesian police arrested three people in August with suspected links to the Islamic State group. Authorities accused them of planning to launch bomb attacks during Independence Day celebrations, which was August 17.

Indonesien Polizisten in Jakarta

Authorities have said they plan to deploy more than 150,000 security personnel to safeguard churches and public places around the country during Christmas and New Year's Eve celebration

Security services to be out in force

The "Jakarta Globe" newspaper reported that National Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti claimed the raids were prompted by shared intelligence from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Australian Federal Police who had been monitoring suspected Islamist militants.

"This terrorist network was preparing for bombing attacks in various locations in Indonesia," Badrodin said

Authorities have said they plan to deploy more than 150,000 security personnel to safeguard churches and public places around the country during Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations.

jar/sms (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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