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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 September, 2003, 06:28 GMT 07:28 UK
Bali suspect attacks West's leaders
A key suspect in the Bali bomb attacks told an Indonesian court on Thursday that he was only a "small fry terrorist".

Mukhlas, also known as Ali Gufron, said there were many "big fish" still at large, such as US President George Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Mukhlas used his defence plea to launch an attack on Western leaders, saying: "If these terrorists are allowed to continue having their way, they will drop their nuclear bombs... in the near future."

Bali suspect: Mukhlas
Mukhlas
Taught at an Islamic school
Older brother of Amrozi
Alleged operations chief of JI

The 43-year-old preacher is accused of having overall responsibility for last year's Bali bombing, which killed 202 people, many of whom were young Australian holidaymakers.

Last week, prosecutors demanded he be sentenced to death. The Bali court is expected to make its decision in the coming weeks.

During Thursday's court session, Mukhlas accused Western powers of causing damage in Afghanistan and Iraq, and said they were also prepared to target Syria and Jordan in their continuing "war on terrorism".

Mukhlas has been charged with plotting, organising and carrying out terror crimes in relation to the Bali attacks.

Police believe he is a senior member of the militant Islamic group Jemaah Islamiah, which Indonesia blames for the Bali bombings and which officials have linked to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

Mukhlas is said to have met Bin Laden during the three years he spent in Afghanistan helping to fight Soviet forces.

The defendant is one of three brothers accused of involvement in the Bali attacks.

On Wednesday, prosecutors urged a court to pass a 20-year jail sentence on his youngest brother, Ali Imron, sparing him the death penalty after he expressed sorrow over his actions.

Another brother, Amrozi, was sentenced to death last month.

Indonesia has so far arrested more than 30 suspects in connection with the Bali blasts.




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