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Officials: More Attacks Likely in Indonesia's Near Future VOA News

06 Aug 2003 22:58 UTC


Officials say Indonesia may be in for more terror attacks in the near future, after Tuesday's hotel bombing in Jakarta that killed at least 10 people and injured 150 others.

Indonesia's chief of police, Dai Bachtiar, said late Wednesday that security forces had some warning of Tuesday's attack and the possibility of others, because of evidence they found during a police raid last month. Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says intelligence shows more such attacks could happen within days.

Earlier Wednesday a Singapore newspaper said Jemaah Islamiyah, a terror group linked to al-Qaida, has claimed responsibility for the deadly blast.

An anonymous caller told the paper the attack was a "bloody warning" to the Indonesian government.

Jakarta security was tightened last month after police arrested nine suspected Jemaah Islamiyah members and recovered a list of targets and a huge cache of weapons and explosives on Java Island. But the added security was not enough to prevent Tuesday's bombing of the American-run J.W. Marriott hotel in the Indonesian capital.

Police have released a sketch of a possible suspect, the owner of the van that exploded near the hotel lobby. Police say the blast was triggered by a mobile phone. Jemaah Islamiyah is also thought to have been behind last October's deadly nightclub bombings on the Indonesian Island of Bali that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

Authorities say the manner of the bombing and the explosives used in the Marriott bombing are similar to those found in the investigation of the Bali bombings.

Meanwhile, an alleged Jemaah Islamiyah member on trial for the Bali attack said he welcomes Tuesday's Jakarta bombing, especially if it was carried out by Muslims.

Imam Samudra, the alleged mastermind of last October's attack, is on trial in Bali and faces a possible death penalty if convicted.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.