Indonesia arrests 16 over 'cyanide plot'

JAKARTA, June 13, 2011 (AFP) - Indonesia has arrested 16 terror suspects who planned to carry out a mass cyanide poisoning against police, the national police spokesman said Monday.

"We rounded them up in a four-day operation last week. They planned to poison police personnel using cyanide," Boy Rafli Amar told reporters.

"Besides poisoning food at police station canteens, they also planned to inject the poison into mineral water bottles," he said, adding that the suspects revealed the plot during police interrogation.

"This is a new model of terror attack."

In recent months police have arrested dozens of suspects, allegedly part of a new militant cell behind a series of recent incidents, including book bombs that were sent to Muslim moderates and counter-terrorism officials.

The cell was linked to an April suicide bomb attack in a prayer room at a police compound in Cirebon in West Java.

Police also foiled a bid to set off a massive bomb near a Christian church on the outskirts of Jakarta at Easter. No one was killed in those incidents.

Indonesia has been rocked by a series of attacks staged by regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah in recent years, including the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people.

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