07/17/2009, 00.00
INDONESIA
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Suspicions for Jakarta suicide attacks fall on president’s opponents

by Mathias Hariyadi
Two suicide bombers checked in at the Marriott Hotel a week ago. Clues lead to Nurdin Moh Top, a Malaysian terrorist blamed for other attacks. Police chief and President Susilo claim attacks were part of a plan to prevent the latter from taking office. Defeated presidential candidate Megawati Sukarnoputri reacts to allegations.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia’s police chief General Bambang Hendarso Danuri said that based on debris and human remains found at the crime scene, today’s bombings at the Marriott Hotel and the Ritz Carlton were carried out by two suicide bombers, both of whom were killed instantly.

During a press conference at Police HQ in south Jakarta he told reporters that the bomb that was detonated at the Marriott bomb was set up inside the hotel.

In room 1808 a certain Nurdin A had checked in a week ago, leaving a bomb that did no explode.

The police chief confirmed reports that the Indonesian president was a terrorist target. He showed a picture with Susilo as the shooting target, a piece of evidence “seized in East Borneo in mid-May from a potential terrorist.”

The general also explained that the material used in making the unexploded bomb was the same as that found in Cilacap (Central Java) in early June in the house of a Muslim family thought to be related to Indonesia’s No 1 terrorist, Malaysian Nurdin Moh Top, who is blamed for masterminding attacks in Jakarta and Bali in 2002.

In another press conference this afternoon President Susilo did not mince words when he referred to “unknown people” who planned to throw Indonesia into chaos.

According to the president, the bomb attacks were meant to cause mass unrest. This would prevent him from taking office for a second time after his electoral victory two weeks ago.

In backing the president police chief Danuri said that the objective of the bombers was to wreck havoc and allow rioters to occupy the seat of the Indonesian Election Commission (KPU) so as to stop the official proclamation of the results and prevent Susilo from being sworn in. “Indonesia,” he said, “would be in the same situation as Iran is today.”

Neither Susilo nor Danuri mentioned any names, but for many Indonesians the allusion to the defeated candidates was quite clear: Megawati Sukarnoputri and her running mate former General Prabowo Subianto, and Jusuf Kalla, and his would-be vice-president, former General Wiranto. All of them are still complaining about the election and Susilo’s victory, alleging vote rigging.

Megawati described Susilo’s words as not “politically wise”, urging the president that if he knew “the terrorist suspects, then he should just arrest them”.

On the sidelines of the incident English Premiere League football team Manchester United cancelled for security reasons a match it was supposed to play in Jakarta.

See also:

President Susilo targeted in Jakarta attacks. A third unexploded bomb at the Marriott

Explosions in two hotels in Jakarta: 9 dead and 42 injured

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