Suspects in Australian Embassy blast named
by Mathias Hariyadi

Threats made against Catholic school. Stop violence! It is against Islam, says convicted terrorist Ali Imron.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The men who carried out the bomb attack against Australia's Embassy in Jakarta last week are now known to authorities. They are Hasan Nur Sodiq and Jabir, otherwise known as Nanang.

Police has not yet determined whether the two died in the blast or are still alive. DNA tests on the bodies found at the site are still under way.

Jemaah Islamiah –al-Qaeda's presumed South-East Asian operational offshoot– claimed responsibility for the attack.

The names of the two suspects came up during investigations in East Java following interrogations of local Muslim leaders. Hassan is originally from Blitar (East Java), but was recognised by a neighbour in the region's capital of Surabaya after his and his accomplice's photo were broadcast on television. Police arrested two people last night for allegedly renting a house to the terrorists.

In the meantime, the whole country remains in a state of alert against other possible terror attacks. A Surabaya Catholic school run by the Sisters of Saint Ursula received bomb threats by phone. Days earlier, the city's US Consulate General and the French Cultural Centre received similar threats. So did the Duta Tower business centre in Jakarta.

President Megawati urged her fellow Indonesians to be "extremely vigilant" against possible acts of violence that might disrupt the September 20 presidential run-off election. "I have instructed all security forces to remain in a state of readiness across the country," she said. Police chief Dai Bachtiar announced that 200,000 officers have been deployed to enforce public order.

Investigators are now focusing on possible attacks by Jemaah in the city of Surakarta (Central Java). According to rumours three terrorists are said to be preparing a terror attack there. Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammad Topper, the two Malaysians suspected of masterminding the attacks against the Australian Embassy and the Mariott Hotel (in October 2003), are also thought to be in the Surakarta area. Authorities are offering a US$ 100,000 reward to anyone giving information leading to the arrest of the two wanted Malaysians.

Ali Imron, one of the authors of the October 2002 Bali attack that killed 202 people, appealed to his erstwhile Jemaah comrades to put an end to terrorism in Indonesia. "Please stop any hostile activities and violence toward others. It is no use," said a remorseful Imron.

The 34-year-old teacher was sentenced to life imprisonment in September 2003. In the course of his trial he confessed to making the Bali bombs. Interrogated by police he also said that terror attacks "are a betrayal of Islamic precepts" and asked the victims' families for their forgiveness.