BALI, Indonesia – The key suspect in the Bali nightclub attack that killed nearly 200 people said Wednesday he was "delighted" that the bomb exploded.
Reporters and photographers were allowed to be present during part of a meeting between the suspect, Amrozi, and National Police Chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar.
"I am delighted that it successfully exploded," Amrozi told Bachtiar.
Officials said Amrozi — who was arrested last week at his home in Tenggulun — had admitted he owned the Mitsubishi minivan laden with at least 110 pounds of explosives that blew up outside a packed nightclub on Oct. 12.
Amrozi, who uses only one name, said Wednesday his role was only to purchase the explosive materials and that others built the bomb.
"I apologize to my parents, brothers and sisters and other relatives over the incident that has caused so much trouble," he said. "Those involved were me and my younger brother Ali Imran."
According to authorities, Amrozi has confessed to being a field commander for Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist network and reportedly wants to form a massive Islamic state across Southeast Asia.
Bachtiar said Wednesday it was "very possible" that Amrozi's older brother Mukhlas is Jemaah Islamiyah's new operations chief, taking over from Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali.
Several security experts have said Hambali likely masterminded the Bali blasts. According to Bachtiar, witnesses in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia have said Hambali left Malaysia for Pakistan after the Sept. 11 attack.
"If there is information that someone else has taken over, like it is said here, Mukhlas, ... it is very possible," Bachtiar said. "We received confirmation that Mukhlas was an important figure [in the group] after we interviewed Amrozi."
The state-run Antara news agency quoted the country's intelligence chief, Hendropriyono, as saying that Mukhlas was Hambali's replacement.