Indonesian police in massive manhunt a week after blasts

Last Updated: Friday, July 24, 2009 - 12:58

Jakarta: A week after twin suicide blasts in Jakarta killed seven people and marked a return of terror to Indonesia, police on Friday appeared no closer to cracking the
Islamist network believed responsible.

Police have stepped up the hunt for alleged terrorist mastermind Noordin Mohammed Top who is believed to be behind the attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in central Jakarta last Friday.

A suspected would-be suicide bomber who had been trained by Noordin`s group was arrested yesterday in the Central Java district of Cilacap, which has become a focus of the investigation.

A woman believed to be Malaysian-born Noordin`s third wife was arrested there earlier in the week, although her lawyers say she believed her husband`s name was Abdul Halim.

Days before the attacks, police raided an Islamic boarding school in Cilacap believed to be one of Noordin`s hideouts. They also found bomb-making materials that were identical to the ones used on July 17.

The bombers, one aged as young as 16, remain unidentified but police say they are looking for two men believed to have been involved in the attacks, including an associate of Noordin and a florist who worked at the hotels.

The coordinated blasts are the first major terror strike in the mainly Muslim country since 2005, shattering a period of calm which had seen strong economic growth and stability under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

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First Published: Friday, July 24, 2009 - 12:58

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