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Indonesian Police Charge Two Suspects with Cyber-Terrorism


Indonesian police have charged two men with using computer technology to help terrorists linked to the Bali bombings in October of 2002. One suspect is accused of smuggling a laptop to the alleged ringleader while that man sat on Indonesia's death row.

Police say suspects Agung Prabowo and Agung Setyadi were arrested last week in separate raids in Java province. Indonesian authorities say Setyadi and a prison warden smuggled a laptop computer into the death row cell of Imam Samudra in July of 2005. Samudra is the convicted mastermind of the October 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali. 202 people were killed in those attacks, most of them foreign tourists.

Investigators say Samudra used the laptop to chat from his cell with Setyadi and other Islamic extremists for months. Police say the men's online conversations included how to fraudulently use credit cards online to transfer money for terror attacks.

While those discussions took place, three more bombs exploded in Bali night spots last October.

Samudra and two other men sentenced to die for the 2002 attacks were immediately transferred to a high-security prison.

Agung Prabowo is accused of helping create a web site that outlined the best way to assassinate foreigners in Bali, including shooting people "several times" in the heart and head.

The head of Indonesia's cyber-crime unit, Colonel Petrus Golose, described Prabowo as a professional hacker. Colonel Golose told reporters Wednesday the latest arrests are proof that terrorists are increasingly savvy about using the Internet to transfer money, rather than relying on couriers working for al-Qaida.

The Bali bombings have been blamed on the Southeast Asian Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiah. Authorities say it has links to al-Qaida.

Colonel Golose says the odds of another immediate attack have been greatly reduced, following last year's killing of another key suspect, Azahari bin Husin. But he says authorities remain "on alert."