05/02/2006, 00.00
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Islamic terrorists arrested and sentenced

Three militants were condemned to several years of imprisonment. Meanwhile another two close collaborators of top fugitive, Noordin M. Top, were captured in a police raid in Central Java on Saturday.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – An Indonesian court yesterday condemned three Islamic militants found guilty of hiding arms used in terrorist attacks and of shielding the top Malaysian fugitive, Noordin Top, who escaped a raid of the police anti-terror squad on Saturday, 29 April.

Abdullah Sunata, 27 years, was condemned for seven years for illegal possession of weapons used in terrorist actions. Joni Ahmad Fauzani, 30 years, got four years for hiding Noordin M Top in his home in East Java.

The Malaysian Top is wanted for several attacks against western targets in Indonesia. He is held to be the key figure of Jemaah Islamiah, a terrorist network active in south east Asia and probably linked to Al-Qaeda.

Joko Sumanto, 40 years, was condemned to four years for funding a terror suspect wanted for the Bali bombings in 2002.

After three months of surveillance and investigations, the Densus 88 squad carried out a raid in Ringin Anom village on Saturday. Top was hiding in the Central Java village. The fugitive managed to escape but two of his close collaborators were killed in the crossfire with police: Abdul Hadi, held to be a recruiter of suicide bombers and Jabir, an expert bomb maker.

General Sutanto, the Indonesian police chief, said two other militants were arrested in the operation. One is Mustafirin, who worked as a courier for Top, and the other is Solahudin, the brother of Abdul Jabar, responsible for bombs that went off outside the Embassy of the Philippines in Jakarta, and attacks on churches in Christmas of 2000.

Sutanto described the four terrorists as "potential threats to national security". He said: "They are very dangerous because of their potential capacity to recruit suicide bombers and to make bombs."

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