Tue, 19 Aug 2003

'Most Marriott suspects linked to Bali blast, other bombings'

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The fear that Indonesia has become a safe haven for terrorists could be valid as a police source, close to the investigation into the Marriott bombing, revealed to The Jakarta Post that two high profile bombers in the Southeast Asia region Dr. Azahari and Dulmatin are believed to be at large in the capital.

The source said on Monday that the two were implicated in the Marriott bombing, which claimed the lives of 12 people and injured 147 others.

The source also said that both Azahari and Dulmatin were in the police wanted list for their role as bombmakers in last year's Bali blast, which killed 202 people mostly foreign tourists.

The source also named another Malaysian Nurdin Muhtop as a key accomplice in the Marriott bombing.

Police have so far identified and arrested a total of 10 suspects in connection with the Marriott bombing.

National Police chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar said on Sunday that the arrests were made in several areas across the country in different times.

"We apprehended six suspects earlier, including one that we identified died in the blast, while another four were arrested recently," he said.

The first six were declared as suspects in earlier bombing cases across the country and the remaining four were new names declared after the Marriott blast, Da'i said after attending the country's 58th anniversary ceremony at the State Palace.

However, he declined to disclose the suspects names except for the one who died at the blast site, who was identified as Asmar Latin Sani. He only said that as the investigation progressed, there could be more suspects identified.

Da'i promised on Friday to officially announce their names "within the next two days".

The source gave updated information on the number of suspects, saying there were actually 11 suspects allegedly involved in the Marriott bombing.

Most of the suspects were believed to have been involved in transporting the explosives across the country.

The source named, among others, Datuk Rajo Ameh, Toni Togar, Idris alias Johni Hendrawan, also known as the fat man, Malikul and Mohammad Rois alias Rois bin Rusdi alias Edi Indra as those who transported the explosives.

Datuk is a rich businessman from Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, who was arrested in Bekasi in May. He was believed to be responsible for several bombings in North Sumatra capital of Medan and Pekanbaru, Riau. He is also believed to have killed a priest in Medan.

The source said that Toni Togar and Idris were arrested in Pekanbaru separately in early June while Malikul was apprehended on Aug. 12, also in the city.

Another carrier, Mohammad Rois, was arrested last May and was believed to be the one who sent cash to Mubarok and Mukhlas, who presumably used it to finance the Bali bombings.

Rois was the suspect who recognized the severed head, which was found at the Marriott blast site, as Asmar Latin Sani's, who was later assumed to be the suicide bomber.

The source revealed that another suspect was Tohir. Earlier, another source said that Tohir's body was found at the bomb site as an unidentified body.

Two other suspects, Heru and Solichin were nabbed in Dumai, Riau, but their involvement in the blast has not been disclosed.

The police began to realize in April that there were explosive materials unaccounted for after several arrests in Riau.

"The explosives were first brought to Indonesia through Dumai from Malaysia by two Malaysians, Iqbal and Andi Syachrudin, some time in 2000. The explosives consisted of six packages of explosive materials, sewn in several sacks," the source said.

Both Iqbal and Andi were also declared as suspects but remain at large.

The explosives -- which traveled through Dumai, Pekanbaru, and ended in Bengkulu -- were believed to be stored at Asmar's house. The six packages were built into three active bombs, each weighing 100 kilograms.

The source said that police lost track of the explosives until they got an indication in June that Asmar and Tohir were in Jakarta with the bombs.

Suspect names of JW Marriott bombing: 1. Asmar Latin Sani (Alleged suicide bomber, died at location) 2. Tohir (body found at bomb site) 3. Iqbal (Malaysian national) 4. Andi Syachrudin (Malaysian national) 5. Malikul (arrested in Pekanbaru, Aug. 12) 6. Datuk Rajo Ameh (arrested in Bekasi, end of May) 7. Toni Togar (arrested in Pekanbaru) 8. Idris alias the fat man (arrested early June) 9. M. Rois alias Edi Indra (arrested early May) 10. Heru (arrested in Dumai) 11. Solichin (arrested in Dumai)

Several names might be related to the JW Marriott blast but more proof is needed to link them with the incident: 1. Dulmatin 2. Dr. Azahari (Malaysian) 3. Nurdin Muhtop (Malaysian) 4. Zack alias Zaid (arrested in Thailand)