INDONESIAN militants planned to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to that country next month, reports claim.
Militants also planned to kill Indonesia’s president and foreigners in a Mumbai-style attack during national day celebrations in August.
Reuters said an intelligence expert close to the police investigation into the militants said books and documents found in raids since February suggested they planned an attack on Obama. “They did not say it but this was evident in their books and documents that the leader of America was their enemy and should be attacked whenever possible,” Mardigu Wowi Prasantyo said..
Reuters reported another intelligence expert said last year militants planned to attack Obama’s motorcade with snipers. London’s Daily Telegraph, citing police sources, also reported that militants planned to assassinate Obama during his mid-June trip “although this was not officially announced.” Meanwhile, Indonesian police said they had foiled a plot by militants to kill Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and foreigners in an attack during an independence day celebration August 17.
“They planned to target Indonesian president (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono), state officials and foreign guests attending the ceremony,” national police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri told a press conference. He said that the planned attack was inspired by one carried out by the Islamist militants who killed 166 people in Mumbai, India, in November 2008.
The Indonesia militants “planned to launch a series of assassinations in Java and Jakarta with their specific target foreigners, especially Americans, and the Indonesian president,” Danuri said. They also planned to lay siege to hotels, “copying what had occurred in Mumbai,” he said, adding that if the attack had succeeded the militants would have “declared Indonesia as an Islamic state.”
The police chief was speaking at a briefing on the raids carried out by counter-terror police after the discovery of a terrorist training facility in Aceh, in northern Sumatra island, in February. Danuri said 58 terror suspects have been arrested and 13 people killed in the raids over the past three months.