The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian and Chinese governments have agreed to enhance cooperation in the exchange of information on nine terrorism suspects from the Uighur region in Xinjiang, who are believed to have fled to terror-torn Poso in Central Sulawesi.
The cooperation agreement was signed by the head of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) Comr. Gen. Saut Usman and China's Deputy Public Security Minister Meng Hongwei in a ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday.
According to the information received from the Indonesian Embassy in Beijing, the Uighur terrorism suspects have been included in a list of international terrorist groups.
"They are believed to have fled to Poso by taking the land route through Myanmar, southern Thailand and Malaysia. From Malaysia, they entered Indonesia through Medan with Turkish passports and they posed as asylum seekers when they were in Medan,' he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
According to Saut, the terrorism suspects went to Puncak in Bogor to join a group of people from the Middle East who wanted to go to Poso.
He said the police in Central Sulawesi have arrested four of the nine Uighur terrorism suspects who had entered Poso, while three had fled into the Poso jungle and two others escaped to Malaysia.
The police said that the four arrestees initially admitted to have come from the Uighur region in China, but after further investigation, they retracted their statements and said they came from their hometown in Turkey.
Saut said the police had difficulty questioning the four because they gave different statements.
The nine were believed to be part of the Uighur separatist group that launched a terrorist attack on a train station in Kunming, Yunnan province in southwestern China, on March 1, 2014, killing 33 people and wounding 133 others. The five captured will likely be extradited to China as the two countries signed an extradition treaty in 2009. (rms)(++++)