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Latest Bali Bombers Called a New Breed of Indonesian Terrorists


Officials and terrorism experts say the three suicide bombers who struck Indonesia's resort island of Bali last week are likely a new breed of young recruits, who may or may not be part of the regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah.

Bali's police chief, Major General I Made Mangku Pastika, said the three bombers were likely recent recruits who are part of a new, younger and more violent generation of Indonesian terrorists.

The three blew themselves up in three different restaurants on two parts of the island Saturday, killing 19 people and injuring more than 100.

The regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah is believed to be responsible for the first terrorist bombing on Bali, in 2002, which killed 202 people, for the 2003 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta that killed 12, and for the bombing of the Australian embassy in 2004 that claimed 10 lives.

Officials have speculated that JI was also behind the latest bombings, and are looking for Malaysian fugitives Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Mohamed Top, both believed to be top JI operatives.

But JI expert Sidney Jones of the International Crisis Group in Jakarta says the recent attack was likely carried out by a combination of JI members and other terror groupings.

"I think we're going to find there's some JI members, there's some partners of JI who are completely different groups, and there may be some young people who may or may not ever have been inducted into JI," said Sidney Jones.

Ms. Jones says the new bombers may belong to a violent group known the Combat Unit or the Fighting Force, which has broken away from JI.

"What we've been saying for awhile now is that one part of JI - the real lethal section - has either split off and formed a militant wing, or at least has gone in its own direction and formed a militant wing without leaving JI," she said.

In a related development, the United States has announced a $10-million reward for an Indonesian named Dulmatin, who was allegedly trained in electronics by al-Qaida and is thought to be one of the masterminds behind the 2002 Bali bombings. Another $1 million was offered for an associate of his, Umar Patek.

The Philippine military has been searching for Dulmatin for nearly two years on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, along with Umar Patek and Khadaffy Janjalani, a leader of the Philippine terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.

Eid Kabalu is a spokesman for the Philippines's Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has signed a peace deal with the Philippine government and is sharing information on Abu Sayyaf. He says the two Indonesians and the Abu Sayyaf leader are all on the island.

"All those individuals, we found out that they're really in Mindanao," said Eid Kabalu.

The Philippine military earlier said it had killed Dulmatin, but so far, his body has not been found, and the MILF spokesman says his group has information that Dulmatin is still alive.

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