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Indonesian Police Arrest Suspected JI Members - 2003-06-21

Indonesian police say they have arrested 10 suspected members of the Islamic militant group, Jemaah Islamiyah.

Police in Jakarta said the 10 men are members of Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional terrorist network, accused of plotting or carrying out attacks in several Southeast Asian nations.

A police official said the men were suspected of involvement in a series of church bombings in 2000 that killed 19 people. They allegedly were under the control of Riduan Isamuddin, who is also known as Hambali. He is said to have been Jemaah Islamiyah's operations chief, and believed to be al-Qaida's top man in Southeast Asia.

Jemaah Islamiyah has been classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and the United Nations, and it is allegedly linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

Hambali has never been captured. He is believed to have been replaced as operations chief last year by one of the men accused in last October's bombing on the island of Bali, which killed more than 200 people.

The arrests are the latest blow against Jemaah Islamiyah. In the past two weeks, four men were arrested in Thailand, allegedly while planning to bomb Western embassies and tourist locations. Just prior to that, three men were arrested in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, also accused of planning terrorist actions.