New Bali bomb suspects named

Indonesian police investigating last month's terrorist bombings in Bali named four new suspects in the case today. They said the chief suspect's brother appeared to have taken over as a leader of militant group Jemaah Islamiyah.

Indonesian police investigating last month's terrorist bombings in Bali named four new suspects in the case today. They said the chief suspect's brother appeared to have taken over as a leader of militant group Jemaah Islamiyah.

Police have now named seven official suspects. Last week police identified Amrozi - who has confessed to involvement in the October 12 nightclub bombing - as the chief suspect.

Indonesia's police chief, Da'i Bachtiar, said today it was "very possible" that one of Amrozi's brothers, Mukhlas, had taken over as Jemaah Islamiyah's alleged operations chief. Several western intelligence agencies said they believe the bombings, which killed more than 190 people, were the work of Jemaah Islamiyah.

Yesterday police named two more of Amrozi's brothers, Ali Imron and Ali Fauzi, as suspects, and added: "There are many other suspects... Idris, Hudama also known as Imam Samudra, Umar and another Umar."

Local media today quoted the country's intelligence chief, Hendropriyono, as saying Mukhlas had taken on the role of operations chief. The former suspected operations chief, Riduan Isamuddin - also known as Hambali - left Malaysia for Pakistan after the September 11 attacks, and police believe he is in hiding.

Mr Bachtiar said: "If there is information that someone else has taken over, like it is said here about Mukhlas... then it is very possible. We received confirmation that Mukhlas was an important figure (in the group) after we interviewed Amrozi."

The state-run Antara news agency today quoted Hendropriyono as saying that Mukhlas was Hambali's replacement.

Neither the intelligence chief nor his spokesmen were available for comment. But several security experts with knowledge of the investigation said Hambali was likely to have masterminded the Bali blasts.

The police and intelligence statements appear to provide yet another link between the bombings and Jemaah Islamiyah. The group is allegedly tied to the al-Qaida network and reportedly wants to declare an Islamic state across south-east Asia.

Police have said Amrozi has admitted owning the L300 Mitsubishi minivan filled with at least 50kg (110lb) of explosives that blew up on October 12. They also say he confessed to being a Jemaah Islamiyah's field commander.

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