Investigators identify Jakarta hotel bombers

20th Jul 2009
Investigators identify Jakarta hotel bombers

Indonesian media have today said investigators have identified one of the Jakarta hotel suicide bombers and were taking DNA samples from his family, in reports police refused to confirm.

Local media said the man was a former student at an Islamic boarding school linked to the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network, which is being blamed for the twin blasts at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels Friday.

Two bombers killed seven people including three Australians, a New Zealander and an Indonesian in simultaneous blasts at the luxury hotels. More than 50 people were injured.

Police have said they suspect the bombings were the first by Jemaah Islamiyah or its offshoots since a 2005 blast at a restaurant in Bali, marking the return of terror to the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

State news agency Antara said investigators had gone to Hasbi’s family home to collect DNA samples, but police would not confirm the report.


“About the news being circulated about the initial ‘N’ being shown on TV and commentaries, the police have not said that ‘N’ is the perpetrator. We are still investigating,” deputy police spokesman Sulistyo Ishak told reporters.

One of Asia’s most wanted men, Noordin is accused of masterminding bombings at the Jakarta Marriott in 2003, the Australian embassy in 2004 and Bali restaurants in 2005, which killed more than 40 people.

Police said they were trying to rebuild the face on a severed head believed to belong to one of the bombers.

Ishak said the Australian Federal Police had a liaison officer who was helping with the grisly forensic work that could provide a breakthrough in the investigation.

The blasts came just over a week after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a liberal ex-general, was re-elected in a landslide in a vote widely applauded a peaceful and democratic.

Police said an unexploded bomb left in a guest room of the JW Marriott resembled devices used in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, and one discovered in a recent anti-JI raid on an Islamic school in Central Java.

“They are from the same school. We found similar materials, similar tools, a similar method. That’s their job, that’s the same network, they are JI,” national police spokesman Nanan Soekarna said Sunday.

The Marriott bomber is believed to have targeted the weekly business breakfast which attracted some of Jakarta’s most influential foreigners.

Investigators say the bombers stayed in Room 1808 of the Marriott for two nights before the attacks and disguised themselves as guests.

Security has been tightened at hotels and resorts across the vast, mainly Muslim archipelago of 234 million people.


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