Indonesian Police Raid Homes for Relatives of Bomb Suspect

Police on Saturday said they were searching for at least two brothers of the top suspect in the bombing that killed nearly 200 people on Bali.

For a second day, police raided homes in a farm village in East Java where the suspect, identified only as Amrozi, lived. And in Bali, police said they searched an apartment allegedly rented by Amrozi, finding his fingerprints and explosive residue.

Police have detained a principal of a boarding school in the village and a shop owner where Amrozi allegedly bought bomb-making chemicals. They are now looking for Amrozi's brothers Ali Imron and Gufron.

Officials said Amrozi — who was arrested Tuesday at his home in Tenggulun — admitted he owned the Mitsubishi minivan laden with at least 110 pounds of explosives that blew up outside a packed nightclub on Bali.

He also told police that he was a field commander of the group that planted the bombs Oct. 12 outside the Sari Club and inside Paddy's bar.

"We are planning to search homes belonging to Amrozi's relatives today," said Officer Agung Sutrisno, who is part of the investigation in Tenggulun. "We are still focusing our investigation on the village."

Since his arrest Tuesday, police said Amrozi also confessed to involvement in a string of terror attacks in Indonesia and acknowledged meeting the alleged leaders of an al-Qaida linked terror network.

Amrozi's confession is the first break in an investigation that had been hindered by false leads and mistaken identities. While no one else has been named a suspect in the blast, Amrozi has provided police with numerous names, dates and locations — and offered clues about the motive.

Blame is increasingly turning to Jemaah Islamiyah — the al-Qaida linked terror group whose alleged aim is to form a pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia.

On Friday, police spokesman Brig. Gen. Edward Aritonang said Amrozi admitted that he knows two Muslim clerics: Riduan Isamudin — also known as Hambali — and Abu Bakar Bashir, said to be the leaders of Jemaah Islamiyah.

Other intelligence officials in Bali, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Amrozi admitted under interrogation that he met with the two clerics.

Police recently arrested the 64-year-old Bashir, Jemaah Islamiyah's alleged spiritual leader, on charges of involvement in a string of church bombings three years ago. So far, he is not a suspect in the Bali attack.

Even though Australians account for the largest number of bombing victims, the real target was Americans, Maj. Gen. I Made Mangku Pastika, the top investigator, told reporters on the sidelines of a security conference in the Philippines on Friday.

Pastika didn't say who Amrozi was working for, but said his younger brother, identified only as Mukhlas, was a member of Jemaah Islamiyah.

The investigator said Amrozi led authorities to a residence where a forensic unit found residue of the explosives used in the bombings. Among the chemicals possibly used in the blasts were TNT and RDX, police said.

Pastika said detectives believe that six to 10 people were involved in the two simultaneous nightclub bombs that turned one of Asia's most frequented tourist destinations into an inferno. He said police have the names and identities of the suspects.

Police on Friday said they raided three homes of Amrozi's friends and relatives in Tenggulun. Police said they were looking for explosives but only found a few photographs.

In Bali, police searched a third-floor apartment which they said was rented by Amrozi. The apartment — in a residential neighborhood in Denpasar — was allegedly rented by Amrozi for two days.

"We already have matched Amrozi's fingerprints with those found in the apartment," said a police detective, who refused to be named. "We also found a black powder in the apartment which we believe was used in the bombs."

Amrozi has admitted that he bought the materials used in the bombs and has confessed to taking part in a bomb blast at the Jakarta Stock Exchange that killed 15 people in 2000, the official said. He also acknowledged involvement in the bombing of the Philippines ambassador's residence in Jakarta in 2000 and the bombing of the Philippines consulate in North Sulawesi province on Oct. 12, the officials said.