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Indonesian police probe JI-linked school over attacks: Teacher

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 17:54

Jakarta: Indonesian police on Tuesday questioned teachers at an Islamic boarding school amid reports a former student was one of two suicide bombers involved in last week`s Jakarta bombings.
A teacher at the school confirmed that police had been
questioning staff at the Al-Mukmin school in Ngruki, Central
Java, for the past two days following Friday`s twin suicide
bombings of luxury hotels.

"The police came yesterday and today. It`s just ordinary
chat. The police checking on us is normal," Al-Mukmin deputy
principal Muhammad Sholeh Ibrahim told reporters.

The coordinated blasts at the JW Marriott and
Ritz-Carlton hotels in a central Jakarta business district
popular with foreigners killed seven people including three
Australians, a New Zealander and an Indonesian.

More than 50 people were wounded in the attacks, the
worst in Indonesia since 2005.

Police have not confirmed widespread reports in the
Indonesian media that a graduate of the Ngruki school -- most
commonly identified as Nur Hasbi, alias Nurdin Aziz or Nur
Sahid -- was the Marriott bomber.

Ibrahim said a former student called Nur Said had
attended the school and graduated in 1994 along with Asmar
Latin Sani, the suicide bomber who detonated a truck bomb
outside the Marriott in 2003, killing 12 people.

"He was just like normal students, nothing extraordinary
about him. He graduated in 1994 with Asmar," Ibrahim said of
Nur Said.

Police and senior counter-terror officials have said the
bombings look like the work of Noordin Mohammed Top, one of
Asia`s most wanted terrorists and the leader of an extreme
offshoot of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terror network.

Malaysia`s Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that
based on police intelligence, the Malaysian-born militant was
not in Malaysia, the Star daily said on its website.

The Ngruki school was co-founded by Abu Bakar Bashir, the
spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah which is blamed for dozens
of bombings across Indonesia since the late 1990s, including
the 2002 Bali blasts which killed 202 people.

The Islamic teacher denied the school was a hatchery for
suicide bombers, although it is well-known that several of its
graduates have become Jemaah Islamiyah members and helped
carry out terror attacks.

"The Ngruki school is an educational institute. We have
nothing to do with terrorism and I refute reports saying
that," Ibrahim said.

Local media have reported that police had collected DNA
samples from Nur Said`s family as they try to identify the
bombers using remains including a severed head, but this has
not been confirmed.

"We are still investigating," deputy police spokesman
Sulistyo Ishak told reporters yesterday.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 17:54

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