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Police in Bali make first arrest DENPASAR - Indonesian police have arrested a man who allegedly shared a rented room with one of three suicide bombers on Bali before this month's deadly attacks on crowded restaurants on the island, the national police spokesman said Tuesday. The arrest of the construction worker, identified only as H.S., could be the first major breakthrough in their probe into the Oct. 1 bombings that killed 23 people, including the attackers.

Under Indonesia's anti-terror law, the man can be held for up to seven days before charges are filed, said Brig. Gen. Sunarko Ardanto. The al Qaeda-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, blamed for three other terrorist attacks since 2002 in the world's most populous Muslim nation, is believed to be involved in the triple suicide bombings. The discovery of the bombers' heads, severed by the blasts, could help track down the masterminds.

Capt. Wahyu Wim Hardjanto, the chief detective in Jember, a town in neighboring East Java province, said the arrested man allegedly shared a room with one of the bombers in Bali's capital, Denpasar, but left the island three days before the attack. Authorities found him in Jember, 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Denpasar, on Sunday and sent him back to Bali for questioning, he said.

Sunarko, who refused to comment on the case earlier Tuesday, later confirmed it at a news conference in Bali. More than 259 witnesses have been questioned since the Oct. 1 attacks on Jimbaran beach and the nearby tourist center of Kuta, he said. At least 10 people at Manega Cafe, one of the targeted restaurants, said a suspicious man was seen examining the area on the morning of the explosions, according to Col. Bambang Kuncoko, another police spokesman.

"A man wearing a black undershirt and trousers was walking back and forth in front of the cafe and looked very confused," Kuncoko quoted witnesses as saying. Eleven witnesses at Raja's cafe said they thought one of the alleged bombers once lived in a rented house in Denpasar, he said. Bali has been a popular international tourism destination for decades -- particularly for Australians, with more than 200,000 making the trip last year.

JI is thought to be behind the 2002 Bali bombings and two other deadly attacks: a suicide truck bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta in September 2004 that left 10 people dead; and a suicide bomb attack on the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in August 2003 in which 12 people died. Three men, Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Mukhlas, have been convicted and sentenced to death for their part in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings.


Link to related event Related event:
Bali tourist areas hit by bombs

Related blog entries (category 'Terrorism') Related blog entries (category 'Terrorism'):
09 October 2005 · Police miss Bali bomb suspects by hours
08 October 2005 · Indonesia calls on religious leaders to help fight terrorism
05 October 2005 · Police seek five over Bali attacks
04 October 2005 · Australia issues new Bali warning
04 October 2005 · Bali police holding 'bomb suspect'


Posted in Terrorism @ 11 October 2005 11:19 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





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About damn time.



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