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Indonesia Links 3 Bali Suspects to Marriott Hotel Bombing - 2003-08-14


A senior Indonesian official says three men suspected in the terrorist bombing on the island of Bali are now wanted in connection with last week's attack on a luxury hotel in Jakarta. Australian officials are warning of more possible attacks to coincide with Indonesia's national day on Sunday.

Indonesia's chief of detectives, General Erwin Mapasseng, says authorities are searching for Riduan Isamuddin, who goes by the name Hambali. He is believed to be the al-Qaida network's chief operative in Southeast Asia.

General Mapasseng says authorities think Mr. Hambali and two men known as Dulmatin and Azahari were involved in the August 5 bombing of the Marriott hotel in Jakarta. Twelve people died in the attack.

The three men are suspected of belonging to Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional terrorist organization.

While Indonesian police hunt the Marriott bombers, Australian officials are repeating warnings that more attacks are possible. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Thursday that terrorist attacks against Western targets may be timed to coincide with Indonesia's national day on Sunday. National Police Chief General Da'i Bachtiar said Wednesday the threat of terrorism has not abated.

General Bachtiar says the entire country should be ready in case of terrorism, because terrorism can happen anywhere and at any time.

General Mapasseng's statement about Mr. Hambali is the latest that links Jemaah Islamiyah to the Marriott bombing. However, the police say they can not yet confirm a JI role. Mr. Hambali, Dulmatin and Azahari also are suspects in last October's bombing of two popular nightclubs on the island of Bali, which killed 202 people.

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