Indonesian counter-terrorism police (Photo:atimes.com)
Jakarta (VNA) - Indonesian police have foiled a major terror plot with the arrest of several men allegedly linked to a planned suicide bombing in Jakarta during 2016 New Year celebrations, announced the force on December 20.

The arrest followed a nationwide operation, the largest of its kind in Indonesia so far, which was targeting an organised terror network.

During raids in several cities across Java island on December 18-19, police arrested five members of an alleged extremist network and seized chemicals, laboratory equipment and a flag inspired by the Islamic State group.

Among those arrested was Asep Urip, a 31-year-old teacher at an Islamic boarding school in Central Java , and his pupil Zaenal, who was allegedly charged with preparing to carry out an imminent attack.

From early information, Zaenal was known as a candidate for a suicide bombing in Jakarta to be conducted on the New Year 2016 celebration.

Earlier, counter-terrorism police swooped on two other men with connections both to the religious school and to bomb-making experts and radicals in other parts of Java.

The fifth man was arrested near the city of Semarang on December 19, leading to a raid on his home where a wide array of suspect materials was seized including repellents, chemicals, and laboratory equipment.

The raids came just a month after Indonesia increased security at its airports after a threat was directed at one serving the capital Jakarta .
Indonesia , the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, suffered several major bomb attacks by Islamic radicals between 2000 and 2009, including the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people.-VNA