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Last Updated: Monday, 13 October, 2003, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
Profile: Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi
Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi
Explosives expert al-Ghozi is senior Jemaah Islamiah member
Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi was the highest-ranking member of regional militant group Jemaah Islamiah to be detained in the Philippines.

His escape from a top-security cell in July was a big embarrassment for the Philippines' anti-terrorism credentials, as well as a threat to security across the region.

Al-Ghozi, a 33-year-old Indonesian, was arrested in the Philippines in January 2002 as he prepared to flee to Bangkok.

Philippines authotities have described him as an expert bomb-maker and planner who has had dealings with some of Asia's most wanted terror suspects.

On April 2002, al-Ghozi was sentenced to 17 years jail for illegal possession of explosives and fraudulently obtaining passports.

He admitted acquiring two passports in Zamboanga in the southern Philippines by claiming he was Filipino-born.

Prosecutors charged that the passports were meant for a series of bombings in Singapore.

Just one day earlier he had been jailed for a minimum of 10 years for illegal possession of explosives in connection with the discovery by Philippines police of a ton of TNT, 300 detonators and 17 M-16 assault rifles.

Officials say that JI targets included US military personnel and naval vessels as well as the British high commission, the Israeli embassy and the Australian high commission in Singapore.

Al-Ghozi also admitted to being involved in the bombing of a suburban train in Manila - one of a string of deadly bombings in the city in December 2000 that killed 22 people and injured more than 120.

Training role

Al-Ghozi has also been linked with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), an Islamic separatist group based in the southern Philippines.

Al-Ghozi served as a demolitions expert and explosives trainer with the MILF, according to a Singaporean Government report on terrorism in the region.

He is said to have acted as the main liaison officer between JI and MILF and would receive JI members from Singapore and Malaysia who were travelling to Mindanao.


SEE ALSO:
Manila links MILF to bomb
06 Mar 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Guide to Philippines conflict
06 Dec 01 |  Asia-Pacific



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