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Indonesian Police Investigate Possible McDonald's, Bali Bombing Link - 2002-12-12


Police in Indonesia are investigating possible connections between the terrorist attack in Bali two months ago and the recent bombing of a McDonald's restaurant in the city of Makassar.

Indonesia's National Police chief on Thursday confirmed that one of the suspects in the Makassar bombing knows a suspect in the Bali bomb attack. olice General Da'i Bachtiar says police are studying whether the McDonald's bombing and the Bali attack are part of a single plan. Three people died last week when a bomb went off in a McDonald's restaurant in Makassar, a city in Sulawesi province. Nearly 200 died in the October 12 bombing in Bali, when two bombs rocked a crowded tourist district.

Local news media report that police arrested a man named Suryardi, who they say transported explosives for the Bali attack to the plot's alleged mastermind, Imam Samudra. During questioning, Mr. Suryardi reportedly gave police information about the Makassar plot, including the names and addresses of those involved. The investigations into the two incidents remain separate.

Police arrested Imam Samudra last month. He is suspected of being linked to the regional militant group Jemaah Islamiyah. The group wants to build an Islamic state across Southeast Asia. However, police have not yet officially said JI plotted the Bali bombing. However, recently a group identifying itself as the "International Death Brigade" claimed responsibility for the Bali attack on a Web site. The Web site also threatens more attacks against Westerners.

Little is known about the group, which until recently was little heard of. An Indonesian newspaper reported that Mr. Samudra mentioned the Web site to one of its reporters. Police have not identified group as part of their investigation.

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