DENPASAR, Indonesia – Police released photos and sketches Sunday of six more suspects in the Bali bombings, including the group's alleged leader who they said learned how to make bombs in visits to Afghanistan.
Police also said the same group was responsible for an explosion near the honorary U.S. consul in Bali minutes after the nightclub blasts on Oct. 12, which killed nearly 200 people. No one was injured in the consul blast.
"We are confident they are still in Indonesia," said lead investigator Maj. Gen. I Made Mangku Pastika. "We want to arrest them as soon as possible. But it not easy to catch them because Indonesia is so big." The release of the photos and sketches comes nearly two weeks after police arrested the only suspect in custody, identified only as Amrozi.
Since his arrest Nov. 5 at home in Tenggulun, Amrozi has confessed to owning the explosive-laden minivan used in the attack outside the Sari Club and to having obtained the bomb-making materials, police say.
The main suspect at large is the reputed ringleader Imam Samudra, 35, who Pastika said visited Afghanistan repeatedly and was responsible for a string of church bombings in Indonesia in 2000.
"We believe Samudra learned how to make bombs during several visits to Afghanistan," Pastika said. Police earlier linked Samudra to Jemaah Islamiyah, a shadowy pan-Asian network believed to have ties to Al Qaeda.
Police said the other five suspects include Amrozi's brother Ali Imron, 30, a teacher at the Al-Islam Islam boarding school in Tenggulun and a courier for the group.
Police said the group first met on Aug. 2 in the Javanese city of Solo, met three more times in Solo during August and September and then went to Bali on Oct. 6, where they finalized the details.
Much of the information released Sunday came from the lengthy interrogation of Amrozi, a 40-year-old motorcycle mechanic who is believed to be a low-level operative in the group.
Amrozi told investigators that he met in Malaysia with Jemaah Islamiyah's operations chief, Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, and with its spiritual leader, Abu Bakar Bashir, police say.