Macabre Clues Advance Inquiry in Bali Attacks
By RAYMOND BONNER and JANE PERLEZ
Published: October 3, 2005
KUTA, Indonesia, Monday, Oct. 3 - In the first 24 hours after a series of bombs killed 22 people in a restaurant on a busy street and in two beachfront restaurants five miles away, investigators in Bali made rapid progress on Sunday, in part owing to a macabre bit of luck. As they sifted through bodies and body parts, they say, they found the heads of three men and three sets of legs, with no middles, the forensic signature of suicide bombings. One head was more than 75 feet from the rest of the body.
A Recent History of Major Explosions in Indonesia (October 2, 2005) The blasts on Saturday evening did not obliterate the faces, so the police were able to display vivid, gruesome photographs of them at a news conference here on Sunday evening, and the photographs were shown on television and in Monday newspapers. The likelihood of identifications from the public seemed high.
The Bali police chief, Made Pastika, revised the death toll downward from an estimate of 25, saying that the three bombers had killed themselves and 19 other people - 14 Indonesians and 5 foreigners. Of the more than 90 wounded, nearly all were Indonesian, he said.
At least seven of the wounded were Americans, all from one San Francisco family eating in Raja's, a restaurant in Kuta, when a bomb went off there. The seven were expected to be released from a hospital here later Monday.
Mr. Pastika said that the police were searching for three other men believed to be involved in the bombings, and that a faction of the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah might be responsible.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono warned that terrorists could be planning more strikes, and police commanders in Jakarta, the capital, ordered two-thirds of their forces to remain on standby. "The terrorists are still looking for soft targets," the president said Sunday after touring the bombing scenes in Bali.
Mr. Pastika presented a video, taken by a visiting family, that showed a man with a backpack walking into Raja's and then the giant flash of an explosion. Each of the three bombs, he said, held as much as 22 pounds of dynamite, and they might have been carried in backpacks or in suicide vests. It was not known if they were detonated remotely or by triggers set off by the suicide bombers.
Mr. Pastika said the investigators had not concluded who was responsible, but he noted the similarity to two bombings seconds apart at nightclubs here in October 2002 that killed 202 people. Those attacks were the work of Jemaah Islamiyah, Indonesian and American officials have said. The group is considered the Southeast Asia surrogate for Al Qaeda. But Mr. Pastika said there was no evidence of Qaeda involvement in the bombings on Saturday.
In the past few years, the Indonesian police have arrested scores of Jemaah Islamiyah's most militant members, and the arrests severely weakened the group, according to Sidney Jones, the pre-eminent expert on the group and, more broadly, terrorism in Southeast Asia.
While the group's mainstream members have forsaken terrorism, she said, a breakaway faction remains committed to terrorist acts against the West, and the United States in particular.
That faction is headed by Azhari Husin, a Malaysian educated in Britain, and Muhammad Noordin Top, also a Malaysian, who is thought to have been the mastermind behind the deadly attack on the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in August 2003, she said. The two men, who have become the most-wanted fugitives in Southeast Asia, are also believed to have been behind an attack on the Australian Embassy in September 2004.
Mr. Pastika said they were possibly behind the attacks on Saturday.............
NYT article continues
Balinese bear the brunt, as usual, both in deaths and injuriies, and on their fragile economy, which is utterly dependent on tourism.
2 Australians dead, 2 more believed dead.
People being evacuated to hospitals in Singapore and Australia again.