JAKARTA (Reuters) – A website purportedly set up under orders from a leading Asian militant gives instructions on how to shoot foreigners in the streets of the Indonesian capital or throw grenades at motorists stuck in traffic.
The Web site, called Anshar El Muslimin (www.anshar.net) and seen by Reuters on Friday, contains diagrams of several locations and why they would be ideal for attacking people and how to escape.
Police called the website a "work of terror" and said it had been set up by one of three men named suspects this week over the Oct 1. restaurant bombings on Bali that killed 20 people.
Islamic militants linked to al Qaeda have carried out a number of car bombings against Western targets in Indonesia in recent years, but there have been no shootings of foreigners on the streets, a practice seen in parts of the Middle East.
Antonius Reniban, police spokesman on the resort island of Bali, said a militant he identified as Abdul Aziz, one of three named suspects over the latest Bali attacks, had confessed to designing the website, which would soon be shut down.
"This is a work of terror," Reniban said.
A lawyer for Aziz said his client had been approached several months ago by several people including Malaysia”s Noordin M. Top, a senior figure in Jemaah Islamiah, a shadowy group seen as the regional arm of al Qaeda.
"Several people came to him and asked him to create that website. One of them was Noordin M. Top," lawyer Muhammad Rifan told Reuters by telephone.
"But he only received material supplied by others. A webmaster is not responsible for the content of the website. He is not part of their group."
Rifan added that Aziz had no link to the Bali attacks.
One diagram on the Web site showed a computerized schematic of central Jakarta where it said foreigners liked to walk from an office and hotel area to a popular shopping mall. It showed a blue section that it said was the place to attack foreigners.
Another showed how foreigners could be shot when they use overhead pedestrian bridges to cross Jakarta”s busy roads.
It gave specific examples of places in Jakarta where traffic banked up, saying this was ideal to shoot motorists or throw grenades or small bombs at targets.
"Grenades can be used to make sure the injured are dead, God Willing. Grenades can be normal grenades or fire bombs so that the car burns," it said.
News of the Web site comes one day after a video was broadcast on local TV showing a masked militant whom police believe is Top. On the video, found last week by Indonesian anti-terrorist police, the masked man warns Western countries, especially Australia, of more attacks.
Ken Conboy, a security expert in Jakarta who has seen some of the Web site material, said while it was a concern, it did not mean the types of attacks shown would materialize.
He said militants would still need to find good weapons, funding and willing participants to carry out such attacks.
"It”s obviously disturbing. You don”t want to see this sort of stuff on the Internet because you don”t want to inspire anyone," Conboy said.
The video was among several found last week as part of raids that resulted in the killing of Malaysian Azahari bin Husin, the master bombmaker of Jemaah Islamiah. It was discovered in central Java at a house police have said was rented by Top.
Police have been hunting Azahari and Top since the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Both men have also been blamed for other attacks.
While Malaysian Azahari was Jemaah Islamiah”s bombmaker, police say Top is an expert in recruiting suicide bombers.