Indonesian Police Foil Burmese Embassy Bomb Plot

By The Associated Press 13 August 2013

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s elite anti-terror squad arrested a man suspected of raising money for an alleged plot to attack the Burmese Embassy to protest that country’s treatment of Muslims, police said Monday.

Muhammad Syaiful Syahbani, 26, was captured Friday in Yogyakarta, a province on Indonesia’s main island of Java, said National Police spokesman Lt. Col. Agus Rianto. Another man who was with him was also being questioned by police, but his connection to Syahbani was not immediately clear.

In May, police arrested two suspected militants—Achmad Taufiq and Sefa Riano—in Jakarta, the capital, and seized five homemade bombs from a backpack they were carrying. Other explosive materials were found later at their rented house in southern Jakarta. The two told authorities they wanted to retaliate against Burma for recent attacks there on Rohingya Muslims. Riano had posted messages on his Facebook indicating he planned to “take action” at the embassy.

Days later, police arrested three other group members including Rohadi, the group leader, who like many Indonesians uses only one name. Their interrogation led police to Syahbani’s whereabouts.

Last week, a small bomb exploded outside a Buddhist temple packed with praying devotees in Jakarta. One person was injured, but two other devices failed to explode. Officials have said the attack appears to have been meant to avenge the death of Muslims in Burma.

Sectarian violence in Buddhist-majority Burma has killed scores of people, and tens of thousands of Muslims have been driven from their homes.

Indonesia has been battling terrorists since the 2002 bombings on the resort island of Bali that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.