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Monday, 25 November, 2002, 15:02 GMT
Police to quiz Bali 'mastermind'
Police search of house rented by suspect Imam Samudra
Bin Laden tapes have been found in Samudra's home
Indonesian police are preparing to begin formal questioning of Imam Samudra, the alleged mastermind of the Bali bombing.

He has been moved to Jakarta, where he will face up to three to four days of interrogation over the Bali blast and other bomb attacks in Indonesia over the last two years, chief investigator General I Made Mangku Pastika said.

Imam Samudra being shown to reporters (AFP)
Imam Samudra
  • Indonesian, 35
  • Has six aliases
  • Computer expert
  • May have learned bomb-making in Afghanistan

    See also:

  • Police said they would confront Imam Samudra with witnesses to the earlier attacks.

    Authorities will be hoping that Imam Samudra will shed light on exactly how and why the Bali blast was carried out, and on any links between the perpetrators and foreign terrorist groups.

    Bin Laden material

    On Sunday, police said they had found speeches by Osama Bin Laden at a house that was rented by Imam Samudra.

    Australia's police chief Mick Keelty confirmed the haul but said it was still unclear whether Bin Laden's al-Qaeda terror network was involved in the 12 October attack that killed at least 185 people, most of them foreign tourists.

    Police say that Imam Samudra has already admitted to planning the Bali bombing and is said to have been giving police more details about the attacks, reportedly telling them that two teams were involved and one of the bombers was killed in the blast at Paddy's bar.

    In addition, he will be questioned over church bombs in Jakarta and on Batam island off Singapore on Christmas Eve 2000, the bombings of two churches in Jakarta in July 2001 and the blast in a shopping centre in the capital in August 2001, the French news agency AFP reported.

    Three other men - Abdul Rauf, alias Syam; Yudi, alias Andri or Andri Oktavia; and a man identified only as Amin - who were arrested in west Java last week will also be questioned regarding these attacks, the agency said.

    "This is a sacred struggle, not a heinous one... Allah is great," Imam Samudra is quoted as saying by Indonesia's Detikcom news service, as he was taken into the national police headquarters in Jakarta on Monday.

    Bali attacks
    First bomb kills eight at Paddy's Bar
    Bomb carried in rucksack, may have killed bomber
    Second bomb at Sari Club killed at least 185
    Bomb driven in van, drivers fled
    General Pastika said he may begin to be questioned on Tuesday.

    Other arrests

    Police have this week also arrested four other men with alleged links to Imam Samudra, although it is not clear whether any of them are implicated in the Bali bombing.

    Indonesia's state Antara news agency said three men - Ichwan, Armanto, and Pujata, were arrested in west Java on Sunday and are said to have hidden a bomb on Imam Samudra's behalf.

    Another man, identified as Agus, was also apprehended in west Java on Monday, General Pastika said.

    Police say that when the Jakarta interrogation of Imam Samudra has finished, he will be moved to Bali, site of the international investigation into the blast.

    Indonesian authorities are still seeking proof of Imam Samudra's allegation that one of the bombs that exploded in Bali on 12 October was detonated by a suicide bomber, said police deputy spokesman Edward Aritonang.

    Police meanwhile said speeches of Bin Laden were found in books and on video discs seized in a village near the city of Solo in central Java.

    The state news agency Antara said officers also recovered several militant Islamic magazines, a tape recorder and computer.

    Australia's police chief warned that six Bali suspects were still being sought and several hundred kilograms of the explosive chemical chlorate obtained by the bombers were still missing.

    The BBC's Rachel Harvey
    "A clearer picture is now emerging"
    Michael Hitchcock, Indonesia expert
    "It's possible that the bombers were influenced by Osama Bin Laden"

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    15 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
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