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Indonesia Holds 11 Over Alleged Plot to Attack U.S. Embassy

Indonesian authorities arrested 11 people suspected of plotting to attack the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Jakarta, police said.

Three were held in the central Java city of Solo and had explosive materials and bombs ready to be detonated, police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said in mobile-phone text messages on Oct. 27. Three were held in Bogor, western Java, with bomb components and ammunition, two in Palmerah, Jakarta, with ingredients for explosives and one in Kebon Kacang, Jakarta. Two others were arrested in Madiun, eastern Java, in possession of bombs and bomb-making materials, he said.

The arrests were made and Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, Amar said without giving details of when the attacks were to take place.

Indonesian police said earlier this month they received information about a possible terrorist threat over the Oct. 12 memorial service for the 2002 Bali bombing that killed 202 people, 88 of them Australians. The attack was blamed on Jemaah Islamiyah, a group linked to al-Qaeda.

The detained suspects may be from the group Hasmi, or Harakah Sunni untuk Masyarakat Indonesia, which means Sunni Herald for the People of Indonesia, the police spokesman said. One of those detained in Solo was Abu Hanifah, the suspected leader of Hasmi, he said.

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In addition to the U.S. Embassy, Hasmi planned to attack the U.S. consulate-general in Surabaya, the capital’s Plaza 89 shopping center across from the Australian Embassy, PT Freeport Indonesia’s office, and the police Mobile Brigade command center in Srondol, central Java, the spokesman said.

The two alleged masterminds of the Bali bombing, Noordin Top and Dulmatin, were killed during police raids in Indonesia in 2009 and 2010.

Indonesia, home to the world’s largest population of Muslims, has stepped up raids against terrorist suspects since bombings in 2009 at Jakarta’s JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels killed nine people, including the two attackers. They were the first terrorist attacks in the country by Islamic militants in almost four years.

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