Sat, 10 Jul 2004

Suspects may know location of Azahari and Noordin

Abdul Khalik and Wahyoe Boediwardhana, Jakarta/Denpasar

One of the five terror suspects arrested recently in Sukoharjo, Surakarta, Central Java, is believed to know the hiding place of two Malaysian fugitives wanted for the Bali and Marriott Hotel bombings.

National Police chief of detectives Suyitno Landung Sujono said police had come to the conclusion the suspect knew the whereabouts of Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Moh Top.

"We are still questioning (the suspects) intensively in Bali. But from a preliminary interrogation we believe one of them can lead us to Azahari and Noordin. We can't mention his name yet," Suyitno said.

However, Bali Police chief of detectives Suharya named the suspect, known as "SK", alias Ad, whom he said was believed to know exactly the whereabouts of Azahari and Noordin.

Azahari and Noordin are being hunted for their alleged roles in the 2003 Bali and JW Marriott Hotel bombings that killed a total of 215 people.

The other four suspects -- RP alias Yun; Kom alias Fur, both from Central Java; Usm alias Fah from Surabaya, and Sab alias Ros from Malaysia -- were accused of hiding SK from a police search, police said.

The five suspects were transferred to Bali after their arrest on June 30 at Sukaharjo, Central Java, by members of the Special Detachment 88 police, a US-trained antiterrorist squad.

Suharya said SK had undergone military training with the two fugitives. He would not say where the suspected terrorists trained.

SK is also believed to have knowledge about the source of funds used to finance the Bali bombings and the funds used by Azahari and Noordin while on the run.

The police have said the funds used for the bombings came from local and foreign sources.

"We are still focusing on series of meetings held before and after the Bali bombings, as well as meetings before the Marriott attack. Later, we will interrogate them about funding," Suharya said.

He said SK was believed to have met with Azahari and Noordin and other bombing suspects before and after the Bali and Marriott bombings.

All three were thought to have been present at a preparatory meeting in Jakarta before the Marriott bombing, he said.