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2  Arrested in Indonesian Hotel Bombing - 2003-10-30


Indonesian police have arrested two suspect terrorists believed to be behind the suicide bombing of the JW Marriott hotel in Jakarta in August. But they narrowly missed a pair of the most dangerous men in Southeast Asia: the two men who built both the Marriott and the Bali bombs.

The police say the two men were arrested Wednesday at a hotel in the town of Cirebon - where they also found a number of explosive devices. The two men, identified as Ismail and Tohir, are accused of buying the car used in the August bombing of Jakarta's Marriott hotel and of accompanying the bomber on his suicide mission.

Twelve people were killed and more than 150 wounded.

Indonesia's national police chief, General Da'i Bachtiar says the police did not immediately announce the arrests of Tohir and Ismail because they were hoping they would lead them to other suspects. The police say they came close to capturing the suspected bomb-maker Dr. Azahari and terror financier Nurdin Mohammed Top - both Malaysian - but they got away.

Dr. Azahari is suspected of being the brains behind the building of both the Marriott bomb and last October's Bali bomb, which killed 202 people when it exploded outside a nightclub packed with Western holidaymakers.

The men are suspected members of Jemaah Islamiyah, or JI, a Southeast Asia terrorist group with links to the al-Qaida network.

Despite numerous arrests over the past year, JI still remains a potent threat in Indonesia and the region. Britain Thursday raised the level of its warning against traveling to Indonesia, says it had received information JI was planning further attacks against both Indonesian and western targets.

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