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Malaysian eyed as possible suspect in twin bombings JAKARTA - International suspicion focused Friday on a Malaysian accountant-turned-bombmaker as the instigator of a pair of blasts at Western hotels in Jakarta that may have signaled the re-emergence of deadly attacks by Southeast Asian groups affiliated with Al Qaeda, according to counterterrorism officials and analysts.

Noordin Mohammad Top, regarded as the ideological leader of the most violent wing of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, drew immediate suspicion because of his alleged involvement in attacks from 2002 to 2005, including bombings in Bali and Jakarta.

But after the region's first significant attack in several years, suspicion also fell on others in the sprawling network of militant cells known collectively as "JI." Those include other top Jemaah Islamiyah commanders and dozens of hard-liners released recently from Southeast Asian prisons, several current and former U.S. counterterrorism officials said.

Authorities found explosives hidden beneath an Islamic boarding school in Java that has ties to Top's wife. Those munitions appeared similar to those used in the near-simultaneous bombings Friday morning at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels, according to a U.S. official.

Indonesian authorities did not immediately name a suspect, and no group claimed immediate credit for the attacks. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono blamed a "terrorist group" and suggested a possible link to last week's national presidential election. But evidence emerged Friday indicating that the explosions were the work of suicide bombers who were guests at the Marriott, which was also the target of a terrorist bombing in 2003 that killed 12 people.

Indonesian authorities said the attackers evaded hotel security, smuggling in their explosives and assembling the bombs in a room on the 18th floor, where an undetonated device was found after the explosions. The bombers had stayed at the hotel for two days. "They had been using the room as their 'command post' since July 15, and today they were supposed to check out," police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri said.


Link to related event Related event:
Terrorism in Indonesia

Related blog entries (category 'Terrorism') Related blog entries (category 'Terrorism'):
17 July 2009 · Bomber caught on CCTV camera in Ritz Carlton
17 July 2009 · Active but unexploded bomb found at J.W. Marriott room
17 July 2009 · At least eight killed in Jakarta hotel bombings
17 July 2009 · Six dead as two bombs rock Mega Kuningan area in Jakarta


Posted in Terrorism @ 18 July 2009 09:08 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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