03/07/2006, 00.00
INDONESIA
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Two terror suspects linked to Bali attacks arrested

Ahmad Arif Hermansyah and Ahmad Basir were captured in East Java last weekend and they are now being questioned about their role in the blasts in Bali and the Australian embassy.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesian police yesterday confirmed news of the arrest of two Islamic terrorist suspects linked to the bomb blasts in Bali and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Anton Alam, vice spokesman of the police headquarters in the capital, announced: "The two are being interrogated by detectives from the province of East Java and Jakarta." The arrests were made by a special anti-terrorism squad better known as Densus 88 AT. The men captured are Ahmad Arif Hermansyah, who was taken in Surabaya on 5 March, and Ahmad Basir, who was apprehended the previous day. Police suspect Basir is linked to an urgently wanted Malaysian terrorist, Noordin Moh Top, and his co-national, Azahari bin Husin, who died in November in a raid of the security forces, for whom the suspect allegedly procured a hideout. Noordin Top and bin Husin are held to be the masterminds behind the Bali bombings (2002 and 2005) and key figures of the Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian terror network linked to al-Qaeda.

"We are certain Basir has nothing to do with terrorists," said Mohammed, his brother-in-law, adding that he has decided to turn to the so-called Muslim Lawyer Team for help. In his neighborhood of Kalimas Madya in Surabaya – East Java – the suspect is known as a simple honey vendor.

Meanwhile, police suspect Ahmad Arif Hermansyah of having prepared the explosive used for the bomb against the Australian embassy in Jakarta in 2004, which killed 10 people.

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