- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 9, 2002

JAKARTA, Indonesia The Bali bombers "hate Americans" and their real targets were U.S. citizens in the nightclub attacks that killed nearly 200 people on the resort island, a top investigator said yesterday, citing the confession of a key suspect.
The reported confession of an Indonesian man identified as Amrozi has prompted more arrests and linked the blasts to a fugitive, Riduan Isamudin, also known as Hambali, who has been tied to the September 11 hijackers.
The confession was the first major breakthrough in the case, and officials said yesterday that Amrozi had admitted to taking part in a string of terror attacks in Indonesia.
Referring to the Oct. 12 bombings in Bali, Maj. Gen. I Made Mangku Pastika said the goal was "to kill as many Americans" as possible.
"They hate Americans. They tried to find where the Americans are gathering. That is in Bali. But they were not that happy because Australians were killed in big numbers," Gen. Pastika said. The vast majority of the dead were Australians.
Police swept through Amrozi's home village in East Java province yesterday, arresting the principal of an Islamic school and the owner of a shop where bomb chemicals were purportedly bought.
Blame for the attack is increasingly turning to Jemaah Islamiyah, the al-Qaeda-linked terror group said to be seeking a pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia.
Gen. Pastika didn't say whom Amrozi was working for, but said his younger brother, identified only as Mukhlas, was a member of Jemaah Islamiyah.
The investigator said Amrozi, who was arrested Tuesday in his home village of Tenggulun, led authorities to a residence in Denpasar, Bali's capital, where a forensic unit found residue of the explosives used in the bombings.
Police said Amrozi owned the L300 Mitsubishi minivan laden with at least 110 pounds of explosives that blew up outside a packed nightclub on Bali. Though Amrozi's detention has catapulted the investigation forward, his ranking inside any suspected terror group remains unclear.
Amrozi told police that he bought a ton of ammonium chlorate, sulfur and aluminum, purchasing 220 to 440 pounds at a time over six months to avoid raising suspicion. Two hundred twenty pounds of explosives were used in the Bali bombings, Gen. Pastika said, and it is not clear where the rest is.
Gen. Pastika said detectives believe that six to 10 people were involved in the two nightclub bombings.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide