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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 12:48 GMT
'Suicide bombers' held in Malaysia
A pro-Taliban protester makes his voice heard last autumn
Malaysia has arrested more than 70 Muslim militants
Malaysia's police chief has said for the first time that the country has detained Muslim militants who claim to have been members of a suicide bombing squad.


"In this country, we have arrested a few who are members of a suicide bombing squad

Police chief Norian Mai
The revelation follows a claim by the suspected mastermind of the Bali bombings, Imam Samudra, that one of the blasts was detonated by a suicide bomber.

If true, it would mark the first time such an attack has taken place in Indonesia.

Head of Malaysian police Norian Mai confirmed that Malaysia had arrested some people who claimed to be suicide bombers, as part of a wider sweep of Muslim militants which has seen more than 70 people arrested.

He did not give details.

"In this country, we have arrested a few who are members of a suicide bombing squad," Mr Norian said.

Singapore plot

An unnamed Malaysian official told the Associated Press that three men who were detained in the southern state of Johor in November were involved in a plot - foiled in December 2001 - to blow up Western embassies in Singapore. He said the three claimed to have been a suicide bombing squad.

That plot, which envisaged driving truck bombs at the buildings, has not been linked with suicide bombers before.

The official claimed the arrested men were under the direct control of Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, who is believed to be a top leader of regional militant group Jemaah Islamiah, which some governments suspect of involvement in the Bali bombing.

Mr Norian said that four suspected members of the Malaysian Militant Group (KMM) had been arrested over the last month, and that the authorities were seeking four more members of the same group.

The number of suspected Muslim militants being held under Malaysia's tough internal security law now stands at 73.

In Indonesia, police said that 15 people had now been arrested in connection with the Bali bomb.


Imam Samudra
  • Indonesian, 35
  • Has six aliases
  • Computer expert
  • May have learned bomb-making in Afghanistan

    See also:


  • However, police spokesman Brigadier General Edward Aritonang stressed that "only two have been named suspects in the Bali bombings".

    They are Imam Samudra, alleged to have planned the attacks, and Amrozi, arrested earlier this month and alleged to have admitted to owning the van which was used in one of the blasts.

    Seven other men were detained in different parts of the country on Monday, General Aritonang said.

    The police spokesman said a plot to blow up a bank in west Java was also uncovered, but gave no details on who was involved.

    Police are also investigating Imam Samudra's claim that the smaller of the Bali bombs - in Paddy's Irish bar - was a suicide attack carried out by a man named as Iqbal.

    Forensic experts are checking DNA evidence to see if they can link this man to body parts found at the scene.


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    25 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
    22 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
    21 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
    16 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
    24 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
    04 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
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