09/13/2004, 00.00
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Police warns other suicide bombers are poised to strike

Jakarta (AsiaNews/SCMP) – According to Indonesian police chief Dai Bachtiar law enforcement remains in a high state of alert against other possible suicide attacks. Investigators believe other suicide bombers are poised to act.

Law enforcement agencies have deployed thousands of officers in the wake of last Thursday bombing of the Australian Embassy which killed 12 people injuring another 180.

Currently, two Malaysian nationals –Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammad Top– are wanted for masterminding the embassy attack. Both are prominent leaders of Jemaah Islamiah, a terrorist group with links to al-Qaeda that has perpetrated several attacks across the country.

"There are many new Jemaah recruits in Java," Dai Bachtiar said."There is the possibility of another attack, but it's difficult to predict where they will strike," he added.

The US and British embassies in downtown Jakarta are likely targets, but so are foreign banks and police headquarters. A high school, an insurance agency and a hotel located in the capital's south-side have received threats. Other threats have been received in Riau province on the island of Sumatra.

Investigators reviewed the Australian Embassy bombing. Security camera footage shows a white van exploding after swerving past a police check-point.

On Saturday, police said they recovered traces of TNT and sulphur – chemicals used in the embassy bomb – from a Jakarta house rented in July by Azahari and Noordin. Neighbours said four men had rented the house for five days and were seen loading boxes into a pickup truck. According to one witness, "they kept to themselves, venturing out only to pray at a nearby mosque."

Six would-be suicide bombers arrested in late June told police that Azahari and Noordin recruited suicide bombers to launch attacks on western targets including hotels, banks and embassies. They also said that three would-be bombers were still at large. (MA)

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