Indonesia police dismiss Obama plot report

August 25, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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AFP

Indonesian police on Monday dismissed a media report that Islamist extremists were planning to assassinate US President Barack Obama when he visits the country.

National police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri said analyst Dynno Chressbon, the Indonesian source quoted in the Western news agency report, had no right to make what he described as unsubstantiated comments.

He said police knew of no Islamist plot to assassinate Obama, who is expected to visit the mainly Muslim country later this year.

“As if there’s a bomb being prepared for the arrival of the US president — that has never existed. What observer is bold enough to say something like that?” Danuri told a news conference.

“Dynno Chressbon had no business (making such statements). There’s no such thing.”

Danuri was briefing reporters on efforts to crack down on Islamist extremism after twin suicide bombings on hotels in Jakarta last month that killed nine people, the first such attack in the country since 2005.

Chressbon said his sources included former members of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terrorist group blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

“What the police chief said was appropriate because I have not communicated the information to the police yet,” he told AFP.

“I made an international statement so that the Indonesian police will take preventive actions and be serious about ensuring safety when… Mr Obama comes to Indonesia.”

In the news agency report on August 20, Chressbon was described as an expert from the Indonesian Center for Intelligence and National Security “who is close to the police investigations”.

Obama is expected to visit Indonesia, where he lived for some years as a child, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Singapore in November.

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