Indonesia hunts Frenchman over terror links: official

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Indonesia is hunting a French man wanted for alleged involvement with Al-Qaeda-linked militants plotting Mumbai-style attacks in Jakarta, a top security official said Tuesday.

Frederic Jean Salvi had a history of radical activism in France, security ministry anti-terror chief Ansyaad Mbai told AFP.

"Our partner from the French police informed us that he's a French national and that he's a radical activist there. It's still unclear what kind of activist specifically," he said.

"We know transnational terror groups cooperate with one another. We're working with the French on this matter," Mbai said.

Salvi, who goes by alias Ali, could be Muslim, he added.

In anti-terror raids in West Java on August 7, police arrested five suspects, seized explosive materials in a bomb factory and a vehicle belonging to a French national which they suspected could be used as a car bomb.

Police earlier said they were working with Interpol to track down the car owner.

"He (Salvi) had given assistance to the terror group by lending his car. We're still investigating if the car would be used as a car bomb," Mbai said.

Police have arrested 102 terror suspects, of whom 66 were detained, in a series of raids nationwide since discovering in February a militant training facility in Aceh, northern Sumatra island.

Top radical Islamist preacher Abu Bakar Bashir was arrested last week accused of funding and training Al-Qaeda linked extremists who were plotting a wave of attacks in Jakarta.

According to the police, the plot was inspired by the siege of the Indian city of Mumbai by Islamist militants who killed 166 people in November 2008.

© 2010 AFP

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