Indonesian police: Explosives 'identical' to Bali

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Explosive material recovered from the scene of two suicide bombings at hotels in the Indonesian capital is "identical" to that used by the Southeast Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah in earlier attacks, police said.

An unexploded bomb left in a room of the J.W. Marriott in Jakarta resembled devices used in attacks on Bali and one found in a recent raid against the network on an Islamic boarding school in Central Java, national police spokesman told a news conference Sunday.

The culprits in Friday's attacks that killed seven and wounded 50 are believed to have belonged to Jemaah Islamiyah "because there are similarities in the bombs used," Maj. Gen. Nanan Sukarna said.

The decapitated bodies of two alleged suicide bombers were also recovered at the blast scenes, police said.

Anti-terrorism police were hunting for Noordin Mohammad Top, a fugitive Malaysian who heads a particularly violent offshoot of the network and has been linked to four major strikes in Indonesia since 2002.

The twin suicide bombings at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels came four years after the last serious terrorist attack in Indonesia and unleashed a new wave of anxiety in the world's largest Muslim-majority country.

After years of sectarian violence and annual terrorist strikes, the nation of 235 million had been enjoying a period of stability. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was re-elected to a second term earlier this month, partly on the strength of government efforts to fight terrorism.

"I am shocked by these bombings," Razif Harahap, a 45-year-old graduate student, said in Jakarta on Sunday. "The same people who carried out these attacks could launch another one, because the mastermind is still at large."

Investigators have been examining body parts and other forensic evidence in an attempt to identify the two bombers, one of whom is believed to be Indonesian.

They were decapitated in the explosions, and confirming their identity could help determine if they had links to Noordin.

The official Antara news agency said Sunday that the government was intensifying efforts to find Noordin and trace the network's finances to try to uncover any links to Friday's blasts.

Officials have identified five of the dead — three Australians, one New Zealander and one Indonesian.

Among the dead was Craig Senger, the first Australian government official to be killed in a terrorist attack, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Sunday. Senger worked as a Trade Commission officer at the embassy in Jakarta.

Officials said 17 foreigners were among the wounded, including eight Americans and citizens of Australia, Britain, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and South Korea.

Jemaah Islamiyah rose to prominence after the 2002 nightclub bombings in the beach resort of Bali that killed 202 people, most of them foreigners.

It staged attacks in Indonesia in each of the next three years: a 2003 car bombing outside the J.W. Marriott hotel, a 2004 truck bombing outside the Australian Embassy, and triple suicide bombings on Bali restaurants by attackers carrying bombs in backpacks in 2005.

After the government launched a massive anti-terrorism campaign, no major attacks had been reported since then — until Friday's explosions.

"Noordin Top and his friends have support from just a few hard-line Muslims," Triharso said. "As Muslims, we have to stop them."

A chameleon clings to a tree stump on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. AFP/Sam Panthaky