07/12/2011, 00.00
INDONESIA

Explosion in an Islamic school in Bima, students were building a bomb

by Mathias Hariyadi
Armed with stick and knives, students prevent police from entering the scene of the blast. They are suspected of involvement with Muslim terrorists from the Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid. The alarm is sounded about possible attacks by the group after its leader, Abu Bakar Bashir, is sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A large explosion rocked an Islamic boarding school (pesantren) last night in the village of Sanolo (Bima Regency, West Nusa Tenggara Province), killing one person. According to police, students (santri) were building a bomb for a terrorist attack.

Immediately after the blast, hundreds of students held back police, preventing them from entering the building for hours.

In a statement, police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam said the bomb was supposed to be used in an attack against the police itself. This confirms recent threats made by Muslim extremists belonging to the Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), following the conviction of Abu Bakar Bashir, leader and founder of the group, who was handed down a 15-year sentence for his role in 2002 Bali attacks.

In recent weeks, Indonesian police held dozens of alleged terrorists linked to JAT, an organisation that wants to turn Indonesia into an Islamic state.

On 30 June, agents arrested Saaban Abdurrahman, a pesantren student in Bima, in connection with the murder of a police officer.

A few days ago, police in Jakarta uncovered a plot to carry out a massive attack against law enforcement. Terrorists were planning to put cyanide in food destined for the capital’s police station canteens.

Malaysia has also been involved in the fight against the JAT. Today, Malaysian authorities announced the arrest of Agus Salim, an Indonesian national connected with Mas Selamat bin Kastari, one of the country’s most wanted Muslim terrorists.

Salim was hiding out in the Malaysian capital under a false identity, working as a taxi driver.
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