Fri, 17 Mar 2000

Political side to Matori murder attempt: Police

JAKARTA (JP): National Police chief Lt. Gen. Rusdihardjo said on Thursday that the attempted murder of National Awakening Party (PKB) chairman Matori Abdul Djalil on March 5 was not a random act of crime.

Speaking with reporters after watching the slaughter of a cow for Idul Adha (the Islamic Day of Sacrifice), the officer said he based the conclusion on the available evidence gathered so far by his men assigned to probe the case.

"It was not a case of a random act of crime ... politics was definitely involved.

"Evidence found at the home of Assadullah, the prime suspect currently at large, reveals that there were people who planned to disrupt the peace in the capital," Rusdihardjo said.

Seven detailed maps of West Java and Jakarta along with other evidence found at Assadullah's house have also disclosed that the suspects were planning something very destructive, the three-star general said.

"The planning itself is a serious crime. We are very lucky that the plans were not carried out. We hope to find Assadullah soon so that he might help translate the meaning of the evidence that we have in our hands."

The raid at Assadullah's house in Bojonggede of Depok took place on Monday morning. Police found 83 detonators, one hand grenade, seven maps of West Java and Jakarta and four passports bearing the names of four different men.

According to police, the passports were ready to use in case the men needed to flee the country.

In an earlier raid in Tangerang at the home of Sabar, a Koran reading teacher who has been arrested as a suspect, police found notebooks on warfare studies, notes on how to make bombs which have twice the amount of TNT, several rifles and gun designs with notes on how to make them.

Police officers said they had sent teams to track the whereabouts of Assadullah, an employee of the Ministry of Social Affairs, in Slawi and Surakarta in Central Java.

Assadullah was declared a suspect following testimonies made mainly by a witness identified as Abdul Adzis, who also worked as a Koran reading teacher, at the Nurul Jihad mosque in Kedoya, West Jakarta.

"Our detective units are concentrating on getting Assadullah, so that he can explain to us what all the written material found at his home means," a police source said.

The maps, the grenade, the passports and the books, which contain handwritten notes on detailed warfare, show the suspects were not only taking lessons on warfare, but preparing to utilize those skills.

In the notes, the meanings of hundreds of warfare terms, such as monkey crawl, combat intelligence, counter intelligence, searching terrain and estimating distance, are explained in detail in Bahasa Indonesia.

The most interesting piece of evidence is an explanation on how to construct a powerful bomb, another police source said.

"We don't know who is teaching them all this," the source said. (ylt)