Indonesia arrests 12 in Jakarta attack

JAKARTA: Indonesian police on Saturday named the five men they suspect launched this week's gun and bomb attack in the heart of Jakarta and said they had arrested 12 others linked to the plot, which was claimed by Islamic State.

"Police arrested 12 people linked to the Jakarta attack from West and Central Java as well as East Kalimantan," national police chief Badrodin Haiti told reporters.

As investigators pieced together clues from the radical group's first strike on Indonesia, neighbouring Malaysia said it had arrested a man in Kuala Lumpur who had confessed to planning a suicide attack in the country.

"We ... have carried out acts of force. We have done searches, we have made arrests and we have obtained evidence connected with the terrorist bombing at Sarinah," Jakarta police spokesman Mohammad Iqbal told a news conference.

"We will not say how many people or what sort of evidence we have as it will upset out strategy. Be patient, when the case is closed and things are clear we will disclose them."

Seven people, including the team of militants, were killed in Jakarta attack on Thursday near the Sarinah department store in the Indonesian capital's commercial district. About 30 people were wounded.

Police held up pictures of the dead and wounded at the news conference, including a man who kicked off the siege by blowing himself up in a Starbucks cafe.

Another attacker, who opened fire with a gun outside the cafe, was named as Afif. A National Counter-Terrorism Agency spokesman said Afif had served seven years in prison, where he refused to cooperate with a de-radicalisation programme.

The brazenness of the Jakarta assault, which had echoes of marauding gun and bomb attacks such as the Paris siege in November, suggested a new brand of militancy in a country where extremists typically launch low-level strikes on police.