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Three suspects arrested in Indonesia JAKARTA - Three suspected Jemaah Islamiah terrorists linked to Jakarta's 2003 deadly Marriott Hotel bombing have been arrested on Indonesia's restive island of Sulawesi. They might also have links to the 2002 Bali bombings and other attacks, Indonesian investigators said on Tuesday.

The police chief of the city of Poso, which has been torn by Muslim-Christian bloodletting in recent years, said the trio were nabbed on Sunday with bombs, rifles and explosives. They are suspected of being part of the plot for the Marriott suicide attack, which killed 11 people and the bomber, Lieutenant-Colonel Soleh Hidayat said. The three, named as Suryadi, 32, Saifullah, 38, and Sucipto, 37, were captured in Pandanjaya village, not far from Poso.

"It's still not been revealed openly, but one made a statement admitting involvement in the Marriott bombing and others," Hidayat said. During the ambush and arrest police seized two assembled bombs, two rifles, bullets, detonators, bayonets, manuals on waging holy war and explosive powder to make more charges. Another man got away during the raid, Hidayat said.

He said the men were now being investigated "intensively" about other bombings carried out in Indonesia, including the 2002 Bali attacks, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians. Local unconfirmed press reports said one of the men had a strong resemblance to Indonesia's most wanted man, Azahari Husin, who was the chief designer of the Bali bomb and the mastermind of the Marriott blast, as well as last year's attack on Australia's Jakarta embassy.

One officer told the Kaltim Post newspaper that the man looked like the bespectacled Azahari, but was much thinner. But he also had a Javanese accent unlike Azahari, who is said to have a strong Malay accent despite having spent years in Indonesia. Azahari and JI's suicide bomb recruiter Nordin Top - both Malaysians - have been on the run from counter-terror police for the last few years. Hidayat said the men arrested had been staying in Pandanjaya for up to two months.

One had worked as a religious teacher, while one had an engineering background like Azahari, who studied for part of his life in Australia, and the other was a computer expert. Singapore's Minister of Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng recently warned that an intercepted letter written by a member of the al-Qaeda-linked JI pointed to more Bali-style attacks being planned in Indonesia. The letter, found by Indonesian authorities, said 12 operatives were ready to be martyrs and that plans were well advanced, Wong said.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian prosecutor has handed over charge sheets for four suspects linked to the Australian embassy bombing, while a court prepared its verdict against an Islamic militant accused of transporting explosives for the Marriott attack. Ismail, alias Muhammad Ikhwan, could face the death penalty under Indonesia's anti-terror laws for his alleged role in the hotel blast. The charge sheets were handed to a court in Jakarta, opening he way for trials to begin soon.

Proceedings against one other suspect charged in that blast, which killed 11 people including the suicide bomber who drove the explosives-packed van.



Posted in Terrorism @ 03 May 2005 00:03 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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