Jakarta hotel bombing trial begins

First suspect linked to twin hotel blasts in July 2009 appears in Indonesian court.

    Nine people were killed and 53 others wounded in the twin suicide attacks last year [Reuters]

    Before being taken in to court on Wednesday, Abdillah appeared to confirm to reporters that he had helped develop the plan.

    The hotel blasts broke a four-year lull in which there were no major attacks [EPA]
    The hotels bombings broke a four-year lull in Indonesia during which there had been no major attacks.

    According to prosecutors, Abdillah was a driver for Noordin Mohammed Top, the former head of an splinter cell believed to have connections to Jemaah Islamiyah, an al-Qaeda-linked group fighting for an Islamic state in Southeast Asia.

    Noordin was shot dead in a gun battle with police in September.

    Abdillah was arrested a month after the hotel attacks and is the first suspect to stand trial over the bombings.

    If he is convicted of abetting a terrorist act, he could be sentenced to death.

    Arrests

    Following his arrest, information given by Abdillah to police led to the arrests of several other suspected fighters.

    It also led to two deadly raids in Central Java that killed four suspects, including a former florist at the JW Marriott who is said to have facilitated the attacks.
    Since the hotel attacks, Indonesian police have arrested more than a dozen suspects including Ali Mohammad Abdillah, a Saudi citizen accused of helping to finance the bombings.

    As well as having been blamed for the Jakarta attacks, Noordin is believed to have played a major role in four other bombings in Indonesia since 2002, including the nightclub bombings on the resort island of Bali that year that killed 202 people.

    In a video in 2005, Noordin claimed to be al-Qaeda's representative in Southeast Asia and to be carrying out attacks on Western civilians to avenge Muslim deaths in Afghanistan.

    The attack on the Jakarta Marriott was the second bomb attack to target the hotel.

    A suicide bombing in 2003 left 12 people dead and injured more than 150.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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