Jakarta bombers inspired by Al-Qaida

INDONESIAN police have confirmed that regional terror outfit Jemaah Islamiyah were behind the twin suicide blasts at Jakarta hotels, and said one of the bombers had been identified.

Jemaah Islamiyah, which draws inspiration from Al-Qaida, has carried out dozens of bombings in Indonesia in the past decade including the 2002 attacks in Bali that left more than 200 dead, mostly foreign tourists.

Police said an unexploded bomb left in a guestroom of the JW Marriott, which was attacked along with the nearby Ritz-Carlton, resembled devices used in Bali and one discovered in a recent anti-JI raid on an Islamic boarding school.

“They are from the same school. We found similar materials, similar tools, a similar method.

“That’s their job, that’s the same network, they are JI,” national police spokesman Nanan Soekarna told a press conference.

He said investigators were reconstructing the mangled faces of the two suicide bombers who targeted the hotels during the breakfast period on Friday when they were packed with businessmen and diplomats.

“Following the preliminary results of facial reconstruction, both suicide bombers are male,” he said, quelling speculation that a woman was involved.

“One of them has been identified. I cannot tell you his complete name but he has the initial ‘N’. And another body is still in the process of identification.”

Soekarna said nine people were killed in the attacks. Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda on Saturday put the toll at eight, including three Australians and a New Zealander, as well as the two suicide bombers.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith yesterday visited the site of the attacks, as his government warned more extremist attacks were possible in a travel advisory that urged citizens to reconsider travelling to the country.

“There is a possibility of further terrorist attacks in Jakarta and elsewhere in Indonesia, including Bali,” it said in the updated advisory.

Investigators say the bombers stayed in Room 1808 of the Marriott for two nights before the attacks and disguised themselves as guests when they walked into crowded dining and meeting areas and detonated their suitcase devices.

The bombs – brought into the hotels despite airport-style security measures – were packed with metal nuts to maximise the carnage.

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