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Indonesia hotel attack: 9 seized JAKARTA - At least nine people are being held in connection with the bombing of the Marriott hotel in Jakarta as Indonesia celebrates its independence day.

Twelve people died while nearly 150 were injured after a suicide bomber blew up a car parked with explosives outside the U.S.-owned Marriott hotel in the commercial business of the capital on August 5. A police spokesperson said on Sunday the suspects were arrested in different locations across Indonesia over the course of a week, but gave few other details.
Authorities blame the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a local militant group that is trying to set up a pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia for the blast at the luxury hotel. The JI has often been linked to the al Qaeda terrorist network, and was also blamed for last year's Bali nightclub blasts that killed 202 people, 88 of them Australians. Police say the remains of one JI member, Asmar Latin Sani, were found in the car that exploded at the hotel.
The 28-year-old Sani was recruited by the JI and was at the wheel of the car when it exploded after pulling up to the hotel, police said. His head was found on the fifth floor of hotel. On Thursday, authorities arrested Hambali, Asia's most wanted man and a senior leader of JI, in Thailand along with two of his top lieutenants.
Hambali, whose real name is Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin, is being interrogated by the CIA at an undisclosed location, U.S. officials have said. But despite Hambali's arrest, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Sunday terror attacks still threatened the region. The attacks have put the world's most populous Muslim nation on edge, and security forces were ordered to their highest level of alert as the nation marked the 58th anniversary of its freedom from Dutch rule.
About 230,000 police worked alongside thousands of soldiers and undercover intelligence agents to foil any possible attacks by militant groups, a police spokesman told Reuters. Soldiers in camouflage with assault rifles or machine-guns guarded street corners and the entrances to malls, hotels and government buildings in the capital.
Security was particularly tight at the presidential palace where President Megawati Sukarnoputri reviewed troops at a special ceremony attended by ministers, foreign diplomats and hundreds of VIP guests. Despite the heavy security presence, thousands of Indonesians strolled, picnicked and played games in parks around the capital. Indonesian red and white flags fluttered from lampposts, balconies and the backs of cars and motorcycles.



Posted in Terrorism @ 17 August 2003 00:07 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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