Contact Me By Email

Atlanta, GA Weather from Weather Underground

Friday, October 07, 2005

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Bali bombers 'a new generation'

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Bali bombers 'a new generation' Bali bombers 'a new generation'
Bali's police chief has described three suicide bombers who killed 19 people last weekend as coming from a "new generation" of militants.

He was speaking as police tried to confirm who the three men were, and if they had links to previous bombers.

The US has offered a $10m reward for Dulmatin, a key suspect in the 2002 Bali attack, when more than 200 died.

The US state department described Dulmatin as a senior figure in Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiah (JI).

Only al-Qaeda leaders Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri, and Iraq insurgency leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, have a higher US bounty - all with $25m price tags on their heads.

'New people'

Indonesian police admitted on Friday that their investigation into the latest Bali attacks was making slow progress.

Chief investigator Made Mangku Pastika told reporters that the three bombers - still unidentified despite the widespread release of photographs of their heads - were part of a "new generation" of militants, recruited only recently.

"Until now they have not been recognised by old groups. That means they are new people," Mr Pastika told reporters.

But he did not completely rule out a connection with those responsible for the attacks three years ago.

Asked if the suicide bombers may have been trained by older extremists, Mr Pastika said: "That's a possibility. That's where our investigation is starting from."

Police attention continues to focus on Jemaah Islamiah (JI), though experts say the group has changed markedly from its previous structure.

Two of its suspected leaders, Malaysians Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Mohamed Top, are still on the run, but much of the old network has been disbanded due to the arrest of key personnel and internal splits.

Azahari and Noordin are now thought by some analysts to be creating their own group.

$10m bounty

The US announced late on Thursday that it was offering a $10m reward for information leading to the capture or death of Dulmatin, a key suspect in the 2002 Bali bombings.

Officials say the Indonesian national - an electronics specialist believed to be a senior JI figure - helped build and set off one of the 2002 bombs with a mobile phone.

A second reward of $1m is being offered for the arrest of Umar Patek, who is also suspected of being involved in the 2002 Bali attack.

"The United States is determined to bring these men to justice for their crimes," said state department spokesman Sean McCormack.

Dulmatin is believed to have fled to the southern Philippines in 2003, where he was deeply involved in training other militants at secret camps.

Eid Kabalu, a spokesman for the main Islamic separatist group in the area, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, claims Dulmatin is still there - on Mindanao island, the main location of the Philippines' own separatist insurgency.

Mr Kabalu told the French news agency AFP that both Dulmatin and Umar Patek were in hiding with Khadaffy Janjalani, the senior leader of another separatist group in the area, Abu Sayyaf.

Like JI, Abu Sayyaf is on the US State Department's list of foreign "terrorist organisations".

According to the BBC correspondent in Jakarta, Rachel Harvey, the timing of the US reward for the capture of Dulmatin is intriguing, coming so soon after the latest Bali attack.

But officials have avoided making any direct connection between them.

Authorities in Bali are continuing to clean up after the attack. Australia has confirmed four of its nationals died in the explosion - from a total of 19 killed by the bombers.
Story from BBC NEWS:

No comments:

Post a Comment