Foreign Policy Blogs

Indonesian Hotel Bombings and Obama Assassination Plot Confusion

p01-b_28img_assist_custom-512x3441

Terror Suspects

Today, the head of the Indonesian police, Chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri, stated that there was no assassination plot against Obama, contradicting August 20th statements by Indonesian Center for Intelligence and National Security analyst Dynno Chressbon.  Other analyst have been critical of  Chressbon’s contention that Jihadis had planned to assassinate Obama at the National Airport, because it is most likely Obama would land at a much more secure military facility.

Last week, Chressbon claimed that the  July’s Jarkarta Hotel Bombings investigations had uncovered an assassination plot against U.S. President Barack Obama.  Although not yet announced, Obama is expected to visit Indonesia in November when he attends the 17th APEC Summit in Singapore.  Chressbon believed that two of the suspects still wanted in the July bombings, Ario Sudarso aka Suparjo Dwi Anggoro and Mohamad Syahrir aka Aing, have been trained as snipers in the  Southern Philippines, specifically for an attack on the U.S. President.

Although these suspects are believed to be members of a group called Indonesia Islamic State, they are also thought to be working with Malaysian-born Noordin Mohammed Top and his the Jemaah Islaymiyah splinter group Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad, the chief suspects in the July attacks.  Chressborn went further, claiming that the assassination and bombing plots did not stop with President Obama, but included plots against Indonesian President Yudhoyono.  The terrorist were also said to have planned a series of bombings in August, at such Jakarta targets as the Chinese Embassy and the American Express Building.  So far, the police have seized over half a tonne of explosives in a series of raids over the last month, the largest in Central Java.  The scope of these attacks is expansive, which has led the Indonesian authorities to suspect that the groups are receiving foreign assistance.

Specifically, the Indonesian police are investigating Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad’s financial ties to Al Qaeda, as there has been a Middle Eastern connection to the bombings.  In addition to the Indonesian man, Syaifudin Zuhri bin Djaelani Irsyad, who is suspected of recruiting the Indonesian bombers, there are also two Yemeni “person’s of interest”, who are believed to be connected to an Iraqi Al Qaeda affiliate, Anshar El Muslimin.  The Indonesian government believes these men  were posing as airline crew in order to case the hotels two days before the bombings.   There are also reports that a Saudi national has already been arrested and the police are searching for another Saudi in connection to financing.  Police believe a majority of the funding came from personal and charitable sources in the Middle East by courior, bypassing banks, which makes attempts to trace the route difficult.  There is special focus being placed on Saudi Arabia, a nation long known for being the primary origination point of global jihadist funding.

 

Author

FPB Contributor

americasdiplomats_socialmediaasset