Explosive Materials Found at Jakarta Bombing Identical to 2002 Bali Blast Scene
Forensics team will ask witnesses, "Is it him?"
JAKARTA, Indonesia, July 19, 2009 — -- Security forces continue to comb through the aftermath of Friday's twin bomb attacks in Mega Kuningan, the commercial district of Jakarta. They have turned to forensic evidence to identify remains believed to be of one of the suicide bombers.
"We are trying to reconstruct the face of one of the heads we found to see if it matches the guest from 1808," police spokesman Nanan Soekarna said at a press conference today, according to Reuters. "We will ask witnesses and receptionists, is it him?"
Local police also announced an important discovery: The explosive materials found at the blast scene were identical to the explosives used in the 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali, Indonesia, a popular tourism destination for many Westerners. In those blasts, 202 people were killed and 240 injured.
This evidence backs earlier speculation that Noordin Muhammad Top may, again, be behind these attacks.
The Malaysian-born militant has been one of Indonesia's most wanted fugitives for years.
"He's someone who was a graduate of a very well-known technological institute in Malaysia," Sidney Jones of the International Crisis Group says of Top. "He's the person who in some ways took on Hambali's role after Hambali was arrested in 2003, Hambali being the JI [Jemaah Islamiah group] operative who had links with Al Qaeda, who is now in Guantanamo."
So far, Top has evaded the Indonesian and Malaysian authorities that are working together to try to cut off his financial support.
As the bombing investigation stretches into its third day, new surveillance video shows how the attacks might have been carried out.
Immediately following the blast at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, video images show smoke filling the room as panicked guests run for the doors.
There is an underground passageway connecting the JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton for the staff, and sources now tell ABC News that they suspect that after the first blast, the second bomber used this tunnel to get to the Ritz undetected amid the chaos.
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