- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 14, 2003

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Jan. 14 (UPI) — Indonesian police said Tuesday they have captured two more key suspects in October's deadly bombings in Bali. The two had been seeking to flee the country, officials said.

I Made Mangku Pastika, who chairs the joint investigation into the bombings, confirmed the arrests of Ali Imron and Mubarok on Monday.

He said: "Imron, along with Mubarok, was arrested by a team of investigators into the Bali bombings in Berukan island."

Imron is said to be the younger brother of Amrozi, the owner of an L-300 Mitsubishi minivan that was apparently used to carry the bomb that blew up outside a disco in Kuta, a major Bali tourist spot.

According to Pastika, Imron was field commander in the Bali attack, while Mubarok was the alleged treasurer of the group. The police official added that the two had been arrested along with several other people.

Berukan is a small island off East Kalimantan, about 1,000 miles northeast of Jakarta.

Imron and Mubarok were among 11 fugitives wanted by police for alleged involvement in the Bali blasts on Oct. 12 that left more than 190 people dead and hundreds others injured.

Pastika said he was confident that both Imron and Mubarok had been trying to flee the country, since Berukan is close to both the eastern Malaysia state of Sabah and Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

Pastika said after field investigations were concluded, Imron and Mubarok would be brought to Bali for further questioning.

With their capture, nine key suspects remain at large.

Before this latest arrest, Indonesian police had arrested 15 persons, including key suspects — Imam Samudra, Amrozi and Ali Gufron alias Mukhlas — in connection with the Bali bombings.

Investigators believe that Gufron and Samudra were top members of Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been widely accused of being behind the deadly Bali blasts.

JI, in turn, is said by numerous security officials to have ties with Osama bin Laden's al Qaida network.

Indonesian police detained the alleged JI spiritual leader, Abu Bakar Baasyir, for alleged involvement in the series of church bombings in 2000, as well as what they said was a plot to kill Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

However, police haven't linked the 64-year-old Baasyir with the Bali bombings.


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