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Indonesia Police Name Bali Bombing Suspect

Sunday, November 17, 2002; 10:41 AM

BALI, Indonesia, - Indonesian police investigating the Bali blasts on Sunday named a man they say detonated the bombs that killed nearly 200 people on the resort island last month.

“Dulmatin is from Central Java...he is a second-hand car dealer, an electronics expert and his role was to detonate the bombs by cellular phone,” Major-General I Made Mangku Pastika, head of a multinational team searching for the bombers, told a news conference in Bali.

“We know the bombs were operated through a cellular phone, the one who...exploded them is him (Dulmatin).”

Police say they do not know Dulmatin’s whereabouts and have so far arrested only one man, named Amrozi, who has confessed to involvement in the blasts.

Amrozi is the chief suspect in the case and owner of the van containing the powerful bomb that caused most of the deaths.

Pastika said Dulmatin also helped assemble the bombs that tore through Bali’s popular Kuta Beach area on October 12, killing many foreign tourists.

Police say the total number of official suspects is now seven and on Sunday released a combination of sketches and photographs of six of them, all Indonesian.

At the hour-long news conference, police also told how one of the suspects Imam Samudra — known by several aliases and who always wore a hat and often carried a laptop computer bag — remained in Bali for several days after the blast.

“For four days (after the blast) he stayed (in Bali) looking at us investigating the case,” said Pastika, holding up a sketch and passport-sized photograph of Samudra.

“He is also a suspect for the Christmas bombing in Riau, Batam and Jakarta,” he added, referring to a series of bombs that exploded in the Indonesian capital and several provinces in 2000. Police described Samudra as the field co-ordinator and a chief planner of the attack, deciding on where the bombs would be placed.

Two bombs exploded almost simultaneously: the first at Paddy’s Irish Pub which police believe was left on a table or chairs near the dance floor. The second, and main blast, occurred across the street in front of the popular Sari club and was concealed in a Mitsubishi van.

A third bomb exploded about 45 to 60 seconds later in another area of Bali, near the U.S. consulate. It was apparently triggered by remote control. No one was injured in that blast. Police have said they have been hunting for a group of about 10 bombers, most of them militant Muslims, who wanted to kill as many Americans as possible. Up to 90 Australians were among the dead.

Police have not said if the group took orders from others, but suspicion has fallen on Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asian militant Muslim network linked to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network.

© 2001 The Washington Post Company