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Friday, 8 November, 2002, 10:55 GMT
Indonesia widens Bali bombers hunt
Residents and foreigners survey damage
The Sari Club was completely destroyed in the bombing
Indonesia is seeking between six and 10 of its own citizens in connection with the Bali bombings following the arrest of a key suspect, the head of the investigation said on Friday.

"We have their names already. We know their identities. What the police are doing now is searching throughout the country," said Major-General I Made Mangku Pastika.

Major-General Pastika said that the suspect in custody, known only as Amrozi, had admitted to being field co-ordinator for the attacks which left nearly 200 people dead on the holiday island.

Indonesian defence minister Matori Abdul Jalil told reporters that Amrozi was a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terrorist network, but refused to reveal the source of his information.

"The Bali bombing is obviously linked to the al-Qaeda network," he said. "That is my conviction."

But Major-General Pastika said earlier on Friday that investigators had yet to find a link between Jemaah Islamiyah and the Bali bombing.

Speaking in Manila before a conference on terrorism, the Indonesian chief investigator said that the suspect had wanted to "kill as many Americans as possible".

Amrozi had led police to a house used to assemble the three bombs and had revealed that the bombers had been motivated by hatred of the United States, expressing disappointment that only three of the victims were Americans.

Most of the victims of the attack were Australians and Indonesians.

'Ba'asyir link'

Indonesian police say that Amrozi was the owner of a minivan used in the main attack in Bali.

After Amrozi was flown back to the island on Wednesday, he led police to a house where residue from explosives was found. Forensic experts are now searching the house, Major-General Pastika said, without revealing its location on the island.

Family photo of Amrozi (centre) from Indonesian daily Surya
Amrozi (centre) was arrested in East Java
He also confirmed reports that Amrozi had confessed to meeting controversial Indonesian Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir and suspected Islamic militant Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali.

The Indonesian investigator said that Amrozi had spent time at an Islamic boarding school on Java where he met Mr Ba'asyir.

"He [Amrozi] is one of the men who learned about jihad [Islamic holy war] from Ba'asyir," said Major-General Pastika.

Mr Ba'asyir is now in custody being questioned about attacks on Christians and a plot to assassinate current President Megawati Sukarnoputri. He is not officially a suspect in the Bali bombings and denies links to terrorism.

Australian caution

Australia's federal police have welcomed Amrozi's arrest but say that further evidence is needed to corroborate his confession.

"We do not rely on admissions alone - we obviously seek corroboration of admissions," said Ben McDevitt, general manager of national operations.

Nearly 90 Australians were killed in the attacks on a nightclub district of Bali on 12 October.

Australia has about 110 investigators working in Indonesia on the case as well as 400 officers involved on its own territory.

The BBC's David Chazan
"The police believe he was part of a team who planned and carried out the attack"
The BBC's Jonathan Head
"He was the last registered owner of a white van used to carry the bomb"

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See also:

29 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
28 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
30 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
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