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Indonesia Police Warn of More Planned Terror Attacks - 2003-09-19


Police in Jakarta say they are hunting down a group of suspected terrorists, who they say are planning more bombings in the country. National Police Chief General Da'i Bachtiar says investigators got the information while interrogating suspects from last month's suicide bombing of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta that claimed 12 lives. More than a dozen people have been arrested for their involvement in the attack. Relatives of the suspects and some Muslim leaders accuse the police of violating the rights of the detainees during interrogation.

Indonesia has suffered a series of deadly bombings during the past year, including last October's bombings on the resort island of Bali that killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists. Dozens were arrested for the Bali attack. Two men have been sentenced to death, while a third man was given a life sentence. The al-Qaida linked terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah has been blamed for the bombings. JI is believed to operate throughout Southeast Asia and aims to create a pan-Islamic state across the region.

General Bachtiar says, although police have made progress in arresting some of the perpetrators of the terrorist bombings, some still remain at large and must be prevented from carrying out more terrorist attacks. Security remains tight in commercial areas in Jakarta following the attack at the JW Marriott.

The government is now considering widening the powers of the security forces in combating terror, raising concerns from human rights groups and opposition political leaders, who fear authorities will abuse their power.

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