Indonesia counterterror police kill militant, arrest 3

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2017 6:53 AM

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's counterterrorism squad fatally shot a suspected Islamic militant and wounded another Thursday as they tried to escape a police ambush, police said. Two other men were arrested.

Police said the four were believed to be members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, a network of almost two dozen Indonesian extremist groups that formed in 2015 and pledges allegiance to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

It has been linked to numerous plots in Indonesia including a January 2016 attack in the capital, Jakarta, that killed eight people.

National police spokesman Rikwanto said the shootout occurred in Banten province near Jakarta when a counterterrorism squad ambushed the four suspected militants who were traveling in two cars.

Rikwanto, who uses one name, said police vehicles tried to intercept the militants when they slowed in a neighborhood in Cilagon city. Two of the men surrendered but the two others drove into a police vehicle while one of them pointed a gun, he said. Police responded with gunfire, killing one suspected militants identified as Nanang Kosim and wounding the other in his hand, Rikwanto said.

Muslim-majority Indonesia has carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since 2002, when bombings on the tourist island of Bali by al-Qaida-affiliated radicals killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. A new threat has emerged in the past several years from Islamic State group sympathizers.

Rikwanto said the four had extensive involvement in militant activities. He said Kosim gave weapons training and helped hide militants involved in attacks including the Jakarta suicide bombing and gun attack.

Boy Rafli Amar, also a spokesman for the national police, told TVOne the four had been under close surveillance for the past two months.