Indonesia suspects fugitive terrorist in bombings

Author: By Ben Stocking, Associated Press

Suspicions hardened that the blasts were masterminded by Noordin Top, a
Malaysian who heads a breakaway faction of the Southeast Asian militant
network Jemaah Islamiyah.

“I’m 200 percent sure this was his work,” said Nasir Abbas, a former Jemaah
Islamiyah leader turned police informant who has worked with police on
investigations into Indonesia’s last three terrorist attacks.

Suicide bombers posing as guests attacked the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton
hotels in Jakarta on yesterday, setting off a pair of blasts that killed
eight people and wounded more than 50, authorities said.

A police investigator also told The Associated Press on today that Noordin was
the most likely suspect.

“Considering the target, the location and content of the bombs, it was clearly
the work of Noordin,” the investigator said, declining to give his name
because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.

He said police had confiscated handwritten notes, a mobile phone and a bomb
encased in a laptop computer from room 1808 of the Marriott, where the
bombers had apparently prepared for the blasts.

The investigator said a hotel receptionist told police that the man who
checked into the room gave his name as “Nurdin.” He put down a $1,000 cash
deposit because he had no credit card.

Authorities have not officially named a suspect, but suspicion quickly fell on
Jemaah Islamiyah or its allies. The al-Qaida-linked network is blamed for
past attacks in Indonesia, including a 2003 bombing at the Marriott in which
12 people died.

The police investigator said the heads of four of the victims had been blown
off in yesterday’s blasts.

The Health Ministry crisis center has identified five of the dead ? two from
Australia, one from New Zealand, one from Singapore and one from Indonesia.

Family members of one Australian victim, Perth businessman Nathan Verity, were
expected to identify his body today before taking him home to be buried, the
Australian Associated Press reported, quoting a family friend.

The dead New Zealander was identified by his employer as Timothy David Mackay,
61, who worked for cement products manufacturer PT Holcim Indonesia. He was
reportedly attending a business meeting at the Marriott.

Police will provide more details about their investigation later today, said
Brig. Gen. Sulistyo Ishak, deputy spokesman for the national police.

Officials said 17 foreigners were among the wounded, including eight Americans
and citizens of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Italy, the Netherlands,
Norway, South Korea and Britain.

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