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 Post subject: Two held over Australian embassy bombing
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:14 pm 
Two held over Australian embassy bombing
By Sian Powell
July 07, 2005
INDONESIAN police are intensively interrogating 11 terrorism suspects, including two men accused of helping plan the deadly blast that struck the Australian embassy in Jakarta last year.

The two prime suspects were caught in Jakarta last week with pistols - one engraved with the word "jihad" - as well as ammunition and bomb detonators, police said yesterday.
Police spokesman Colonel Zainari Lubis claimed they were almost certainly active members of the terrorist organisation Jemaah Islamiah.

Connected with Asia's most wanted men, notorious militants Noordin Mohammad Top and Azahari bin Husin, the two men played important roles in the embassy attack in September last year, he alleged.

"They set up the bombing circuit for the Kuningan bombing (of the Australian embassy), and gave weapons to Noordin and Azahari," Colonel Lubis claimed. "They also provided operational funds. It seems they're members of Azahari's group."

Top and Azahari are wanted in connection with the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people including 88 Australians, and the 2003 Marriott hotel blast that killed 12, as well as the embassy bombing that killed 10.

They have eluded police for years, despite a number of close calls. They continue to plan attacks in Indonesia, with police saying their most recent target was police headquarters in Jakarta.

The other nine suspects were arrested in the central Java city of Solo, home to the notorious Ngruki Islamic boarding school run by accused JI leader Abu Bakar Bashir.

Colonel Lubis said two of the Solo suspects had been connected with the murder of a Christian prosecutor in central Sulawesi, a province racked with interreligious violence. The prosecutor was known for his courage in fighting terrorism cases.

Police said all 11 suspects faced the death penalty.

The trials of six suspects at the heart of the embassy bombing have been under way in Jakarta since April.

The so-called field commander of the bombing, a militant named Rois, has previously said Australia was specifically attacked because it was a US "lackey". He now faces the death penalty and his verdict is expected to be handed down in coming weeks.

South Jakarta district court has heard that, according to the original plan of attack, suicide bomber Heri Golun would drive a small utility truck through the embassy gates to the building, potentially killing scores of people in the embassy.

However, Golun could not drive well, and stopped the truck at the beginning of the short drive, where it exploded, killing him and 10 other people.

Rois allegedly commanded a number of troops in the plot, including Hasan, who took Azahari on a motorbike so the notorious JI operative could check his handiwork as the blast hit the embassy.

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