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2 Key Suspects in Bombing on Bali Arrested

Indonesian police say they captured the field coordinator and a financier of deadly October attack as the pair were trying to flee.

January 14, 2003|Richard C. Paddock | Times Staff Writer

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Police said today that they have arrested two key suspects wanted in the deadly Oct. 12 Bali bombing, including an alleged field coordinator of the attack whose three brothers are already in custody.

Ali Imron, an Islamic school teacher, and Mubarak, who police believe helped finance the attack, were arrested Monday as they attempted to leave the country from a small island off the east coast of Borneo. Police said they had been following the pair for two weeks.

After his arrest, Imron "confessed to being connected to the Bali bombings," said police Gen. I Made Mangku Pastika, chief of the Bali bombing investigation.

The arrests bring to 17 the number of suspects in custody for the nightclub bombing, which killed nearly 200 people, most of them foreign tourists.

Police continue to search for several other suspects, including Dulmatin, who is believed to have played an important role in assembling the bomb. Many Indonesians use only one name.

Imron, one of the first suspects identified by police, is the brother of Amrozi, who has admitted buying the minivan and chemicals used in the attack, and Ali Gufron, better known as Mukhlas, a top leader of the Jemaah Islamiah terror group, which was responsible for the bombing.

Ali Fauzi, a half-brother of the three, also has been arrested. Police say he had advance knowledge of the bombing, but it is unclear what part he may have played. All four come from the small East Java village of Tenggulun, where family members founded the Al-Islam boarding school that served as a focal point for their militant beliefs.

Ali Imron, Amrozi and Ali Fauzi all taught at the school. Police raided it in November and searched the teachers' quarters.

Early in the investigation, Amrozi sought to deflect attention from other suspects, saying, "It was only me and my youngest brother, Ali Imron."

Police say Imron acted as a courier for the bombers. He and Fauzi also allegedly buried a stash of weapons, including two M-16s, near Tenggulun. The weapons were given to them by Amrozi, police said.

Mubarak, who neighbors said lived with Amrozi in the village, is accused by police of helping to fund the bombing. "We suspect Mubarak's role is financier," said Lt. Gen. Erwin Mapaseng, national chief of detectives.

Police said they detained 11 people traveling with Imron and Mubarak, but it was unclear whether any of them were connected to the nightclub blasts.

The 13 were preparing to travel by boat to the Malaysian province of Sabah on the northern side of Borneo, according to police.

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