Five suspects killed in Bali anti-terror raids
- 19 March 2012
- From the section Asia
Indonesian anti-terror police have shot dead five men suspected of planning robberies to fund terror attacks on the island of Bali, officials say.
Police found weapons and ammunition on the men, and believe they had already chosen their targets.
The men wanted to use the cash raised by robberies to buy explosives for terror attacks, said police.
They believe at least one of the men was linked to bank robberies in Medan, pinned on a militant group.
The bank robberies in Medan were blamed on Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT).
Indonesian police told the BBC the five men had been under police surveillance for a month. They had been planning to rob money changers and gold stores around Bali.
"It's clear that what they're doing is raising funds for jihad - they don't have explosives, so they need to obtain money first in order to obtain explosives," a police spokesman said.
But police could not yet confirm whether the men had links with JAT, although they are convinced one of them was involved with the Medan robberies.
Indonesia has struggled with home-grown extremism in recent years but has been relatively successful in stamping it out through the use of its elite anti-terror unit, Densus 88, says the BBC's Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta.
The raid comes as Bali prepares to mark 10 years since the 2002 bombings which left more than 200 people dead
The two raids took place in Bali's capital city, Denpasar and at a hotel in Sanur, a popular tourist district.
Three men were killed at the hotel and another two died in Denpasar.
Densus 88, which carried out the operation in Bali, has often come under criticism for being too quick to kill, but says the men were shot at and killed because they resisted arrest.
The last major attack was in 2009 in Jakarta when two luxury hotels were attacked.
Since the 2002 Bali bombings, scores of militants have been jailed or killed.
Umar Patek, a high-profile suspect alleged to have been one of the masterminds of the 2002 Bali attack, went on trial in Jakarta last month.