- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 11, 2003

JAKARTA, Indonesia, March 11 (UPI) — Indonesian police Tuesday linked several key suspects in last October's Bali bombings to an explosion two years ago that killed two people outside the residence of the Philippines ambassador in Jakarta.

Police said that information from Fathurachman al-Gozhi, an Indonesian Muslim militant serving a jail sentence in Manila for possession of explosives, police identified several of the Bali bombing suspects as participants in the Aug. 1, 2000 blast in Jakarta, said Jakarta city police spokesman Senior Commissioner Prasetyo.

Police also said Imam Samudra, the alleged mastermind of the deadly Bali terrorist attack, was involved in the Jakarta blast.

One of those named was Hambali, who is also known as Ridwan Isamuddin and is the former operational chief of Jemaah Islamiyah, a militant group that aims to establish a pan-Islamic state in the region, and believed to have links with al Qaida network.

Indonesian police and regional leaders claim that Jemaah Islamiyah was behind the Oct, 12, 2002, Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people, most of whom were foreign visitors.

Another of those linked to both explosions was Amrozi, who was arrested in early November 2002. He was the owner of the L-300 Mitsubishi minivan used to carry the explosives that blew up outside two discos in Bali's famous tourist spot of Kuta.

"Amrozi's role was that of the supplier of the explosive materials. He was also the man who prepared a Suzuki minivan to carry the bomb that blew up outside the Philippine Ambassador's residence to Indonesia," Prasetyo told a news conference.

He said nine people had been named as suspects in the Aug. 1, 2000, blast, and all of them were also involved in either Bali blast or another explosion in south Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar, in early December of last year, claiming the lives of least three people.

"The motive behind the bombing was to retaliate against military attacks by government troops in the southern Philippines of Mindanao — known as the base-camp of the Islamic Moro militant groups," Prasetyo said.

A team of Indonesian detectives was sent to the Philippines last week to interrogate al-Ghozi, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison by a Manila court last year for illegal possession of explosive materials that he attempted to smuggle into the Philippines.

Investigators said al-Ghozi's "confessed" to involvement in the car bombing outside the Philippine ambassador's residence in Jakarta two years ago.




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