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3 arrested in deadly blasts in Jakarta, Indonesia

Dead bodies are seen as Indonesian police hold rifles while walking behind a car for protection in Jakarta, January 14, 2016.

Beawiharta Beawiharta/Reute, REUTERS

Last Updated Jan 14, 2016 9:56 PM EST

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesian security forces have arrested three suspected terrorists linked to the bomb blast in Jakarta, Indonesia, that killed two and wounded 26 people, CBS News has learned.

Police told an Indonesian TV channel on Thursday evening that they have arrested three men on suspicion of links to the attack in Jakarta. Depok area police chief Col. Dwiyono told MetroTV that the men were arrested at dawn at their homes in Depok on the outskirts of Jakarta.

Dwiyono, who goes by one name, says the men are suspected militants and are being questioned over possible links to the attack Thursday that killed seven.

MetroTV broadcast footage of the handcuffed men being escorted by police.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) said it was behind the attack on Thursday in Jakarta, Indonesia. Bombs and bullets killed two and wounded at least 26. But the five attackers had bigger plans, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane.

This is another example of ISIS extending its reach. As more details are emerging, CBS News is now learning the attack -- which involved a series of explosions and gun-battle in Central Jakarta -- could have been much worse.

Images from the scene show cars with bullet holes and attackers wearing suicide vests. One of those attackers detonated his vest inside a Starbucks.

But a law enforcement source tells CBS News authorities believe another attacker died when his vest detonated by accident.

Indonesia has more Muslims than any other country in the world, but it's a country that's known for its moderate, mainstream teaching of Islam.

The fear is that ISIS may be gaining a foothold in Southeast Asia.

The United States is condemning the terrorist attack in Jakarta "in the strongest terms."

Ned Price, a spokesman for President Barack Obama's National Security Council, says the U.S. will stand by Indonesia's government as it works to bring those responsible for the attack to justice and as it works to build a more secure future.

Price says that the nation's thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims.

The scene had echoes of the Paris attacks: A bustling shopping area shaken by the blasts of suicide bombers and gunfire as onlookers fled in terror.

But when Thursday's assault in central Jakarta was over, the death toll was far lower. Of the seven killed, five were the attackers themselves and only two were civilians -- a Canadian and an Indonesian.

Supporters of ISIS circulated a claim of responsibility on social media resembling the militants' previous messages.

The attackers carried handguns, grenades and homemade bombs and struck a Starbucks cafe and a traffic police booth in the Indonesian capital's highest-profile attack in six years.

Authorities said they found a large, undetonated bomb and five smaller devices in a building near the cafe.

"So we think ... their plan was to attack people and follow it up with a larger explosion when more people gathered," said Maj. Gen. Anton Charliyan, the spokesman of Indonesia's national police. "But thank God it didn't happen."

Jakarta police chief Maj. Gen. Tito Karnavian said the attackers had links with ISIS and were part of a group led by Bahrum Naim, an Indonesian militant who is now in Syria.

"We have identified all attackers," Charliyan said. "We can say that the attackers were affiliated with the ISIS group."

The claim was shared on Twitter late Thursday, and the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group said it also was circulated among pro-ISIS groups on other media.

The message said attackers carried out the Jakarta assault and had planted several bombs with timers. It differed from Indonesian police on the number of attackers, saying there were four. It said they wore suicide belts and carried light weaponry.

The statement could not be independently verified by The Associated Press, though it resembled previous claims made by the group, which controls territory in both Iraq and Syria.

Jakarta is no stranger to terrorism, with the 2009 bombings of two hotels that killed seven people and injured more than 50. The bloodiest attack by Islamic extremists in Indonesia -- and in all of Asia -- was in 2002, when a nightclub bombing on the resort island of Bali killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.

Those and others were blamed on the al-Qaida-inspired Jemaah Islamiyah. Following a crackdown by security forces, militant strikes in recent years have been smaller and less deadly, and have targeted government authorities, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces. Terrorism experts say ISIS supporters in Indonesia are drawn from the remnants of Jemaah Islamiyah.

Charliyan said police had received information in late November about a warning from the Islamic State group that "there will be a concert" in Indonesia, meaning an attack. Last month, anti-terror police arrested nine suspected militants and said they had planned attacks "to attract international news coverage of their existence here."

Indonesian authorities deployed 150,000 security personnel, made arrests and said they foiled a plot to kill government officials, law enforcement officers and others. The heightened security ended Jan. 6.

Southeast Asian terrorism expert Sidney Jones wrote in November that Bahrum Naim has been urging his Indonesian audience to study the Paris attacks.

"While the police and army have been focused on going after Indonesia's most wanted terrorist, Santoso, in the hills of Central Sulawesi, ISIS has succeeded in building a network of supporters in the suburbs of Jakarta," Jones wrote.

Taufik Andri, a terrorist analyst, said although the attack ended swiftly and badly for the attackers, their aim was to show their presence and ability.

"Their main aim was just to give impression that ISIS' supporters here are able to do what was done in Paris. It was just a Paris-inspired attack without being well prepared," he told The Associated Press. Those attacks in November killed 130 people.

Thursday's first suicide bomb went off about 10:50 a.m. at the Starbucks, which is near to some U.N. offices, a shopping center and other Western restaurants, including McDonald's, Pizza Hut and Burger King. The neighborhood is home to many luxury hotels, high-rise buildings and diplomatic offices, including the French Embassy.

Karnavian told reporters that after customers ran out of the cafe, two gunmen outside opened fire, killing the Canadian and wounding an Indonesian.

At about the same time, two other suicide bombers struck a traffic police post nearby, killing an Indonesian man. Minutes later, a group of police were attacked by the remaining two gunmen, using homemade bombs, Karnavian said. This led to an exchange of fire that lasted 15 minutes and ended with both attackers dead.

Guruh Purwanto heard the initial explosion as he met with co-workers at an agricultural company next to the shopping center. He rushed out and saw white smoke billowing from the Starbucks and people running in panic.

"I was shocked when I saw two men with handguns shoot a foreigner," Purwanto said. "He tried to hide behind a car."

He heard another blast and saw three bodies on the street near a wrecked traffic police booth, with more white smoke.

The two gunmen ran into a movie theater but were eventually cornered by police in the Starbucks parking lot, Purwanto said.

"There was gunfire between police officers and the two attackers, like in a movie ... and suddenly the two blew themselves up," he said. "It was scary."

A Dutch man who was seriously wounded underwent surgery, according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in the Netherlands.

The man, who was not identified, is an expert in forestry and ecosystems management for the U.N. Environment Program and is "fighting for his life," said UNEP chief Achim Steiner.

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A police armoured personnel carrier is seen parked near the scene of an attack in central Jakarta January 14, 2016. Militants launched a gun and bomb assault in the center of the Indonesian capital on Thursday, killing at least six people, in an attack that followed a threat by Islamic State fighters to put the country in their "spotlight," police said.

Darren Whiteside/Reuters

About five hours after the first explosions, police announced the area was secure.

"This act is clearly aimed at disturbing public order and spreading terror among people," said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who visited the attack site. "The state, the nation and the people should not be afraid of, and be defeated by, such terror acts."

In condemning the violence during a visit to London, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said "these acts of terror are not going to intimidate nation-states from protecting their citizens and continuing to provide real opportunity, education, jobs, possibilities of a future."

The attack prompted a security lockdown in central Jakarta and enhanced checks all over the city.

By evening, a large screen atop the building that houses the Starbucks displayed messages that said "#prayforjakarta" and "Indonesia Unite." Some people left flowers near the stricken traffic police post, along with a wreath that read "Deep condolences. We are not afraid."