Indonesia arrests cleric on terrorism suspicions

Indonesia's counterterrorism police have arrested a member of a top Islamic council along with two associates. The police said the three are suspected of helping a group linked with Al-Qaeda fund terrorist activities.

The police say Ahmad Zain An-Najah provides the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah with advice and insights.

The Indonesian Muslim Cleric Council, to which Ahmad Zain belonged, is an Islamic organization that helps the government issue guidance to Muslims.

The chairman of the Council said Ahmad Zain's alleged involvement in acts of terrorism is a personal matter and has nothing to do with the organization.
Jemaah Islamiah is accused of orchestrating several acts of terror in Indonesia, including the 2002 bombing in Bali that killed more than 200 people.

The revival of the Taliban in Afghanistan has put Indonesia on high alert for terrorism. An expert said the revival may inspire terrorist groups in Indonesia to establish an Islamist country.

Indonesia's counterterrorism police say they arrested more than 300 suspected terrorists during the January-to-September period of 2021.