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Police: Bali Bomber Heads New 'Jihad' Network

Indonesia says a fugitive terrorist wanted for a series of deadly bombings in Bali and Jakarta may have split from his former comrades and formed a new regional network of Islamic militants.

Indonesia's national police chief says Noordin Top, a Malaysian who was previously linked to the Jemaah Islamiyah group, now describes himself as the head of a previously unknown Islamic militant group.

The police chief, General Sutanto, Noordin Top's new affiliation came to light in a message claiming responsibility for last October's Bali bombings. He is identified as head of Tanzim Qaedat-al Jihad. The group claims to operate throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.

Last year's suicide bombings on Bali killed 20 people. In addition to that and other attacks in Jakarta, Noordin is said to have had a key role in nightclub bombings on Indonesia's resort island (Bali) in 2002 that killed more than 200 people, most of them foreign tourists.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP .