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Indonesian cleric Bashir condemns Bali blasts
04 Oct 2005 08:47:27 GMT
JAKARTA, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Jailed Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, believed to be the spiritual leader of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah militant network, on Tuesday condemned the Bali blasts and said innocent people had died.
Bashir was sentenced to 30 months in jail in March for involvement in a conspiracy to carry out the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. The sentence was later reduced by 135 days in an annual prisoner remission scheme.
"I call on the government to bring themselves closer to Allah by obeying his laws. These events essentially are a warning from Allah to all of us for not obeying enough of his teachings."
Police and intelligence officials in Indonesia and other countries have said they believe Bashir was the spiritual leader, or emir, of Jemaah Islamiah.
They say the network, which has been linked to al Qaeda and seeks to set up a pan-Southeast Asian Muslim state, is responsible for a string of bombings in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.
Bashir denies being a Jemaah Islamiah leader, and says he does not believe the group even exists. Efforts in court to prove he led the militant network have failed.
Bali police are reportedly following a lead that the weekend bombers were "cleanskins" trained in terror camps in The Philippines.
The top targets are Malaysians JI fugitive leaders Azahari bin Husin and Noordin M. Top.
Bali police chief Made Mangku Pastika has confirmed two non-Balinese had been taken in for questioning two days earlier over suspected involvement in Saturday night's suicide bombings.
And to add to pile of differentiating witness testimony
A witness has told investigators he saw the suicide bomber wearing a heavy jacket, which he unzipped and pulled something like a cord, triggering the explosion, News Limited newspapers report.
The Oil factor begins...
JAKARTA, Tues: Fuel consumption in Indonesia, South-East Asia’s biggest user of oil, plunged 70 per cent after the Government increased prices of kerosene, petrol and diesel last week, state oil company PT Pertamina said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Government increased the price of fuels last Saturday, which were being sold at less than half of the cost of imports, to curb demand and help narrow a budget deficit target of 24.9 trillion rupiah (100 rupiah = RM0.04), or 0.9 per cent of gross domestic product this year.
Indonesia, the second-smallest member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries by output, imports about a third of its oil products each year because its 1.083 million barrels per day of refining capacity isn’t enough to meet domestic demand. — Bloomberg
Indonesia, Exxon Mobil sign oil deal
Indonesia and US petroleum giant Exxon Mobil Corporation signed a revenue-and production-sharing agreement that will allow the US firm to tap East Java province's massive Cepu oil field.
The agreement ends a long-simmering dispute between the sides that Indonesia has blamed for souring prospective foreign investor sentiment here and contributed to its inability to meet domestic oil needs.
Exxon Mobil brought the rights to the Cepu block in 1998 from a company run by Tommy Suharto, a son of Indonesia's former dictator, Suharto.
The US firm soon discovered that the oil block held a commercial quantity of crude oil. The pending expiration of Exxon Mobil's contract in 2010 to develop the site prompted the company to decline investment in the deep-drilling equipment necessary to tap the block until the government extended the contract.
Bombing mastermind escapes police raid
AP - One of South-East Asia's most-wanted fugitives slipped away hours before Indonesian police stormed his hideout in a predawn raid - part of an intensifying nationwide search for the masterminds behind last weekend's deadly bombings on the resort island of Bali, police said.
Noordin Mohamed Top, nicknamed "Moneyman" for his fund-raising skills, is believed to be a key leader and recruiter of bombers for the shadowy terror network Jemaah Islamiah. Police suspect the al-Qaeda-linked group played a role in Saturday's blasts and a string of other attacks in Indonesia.
Authorities received a tip that the Malaysian-born Noordin was hiding in Purwantoro, a remote district in central Java province, said Abdul Madjid, a police chief in the city of Solo.
Police delayed the raid for several hours because they feared Noordin, 35, might be armed with explosives, he said, but about 20 officers moved in about 4am, only to learn that Noordin had escaped about three hours earlier. - Whoopsy daisy!
"We can confirm it was him," said Madjid, who provided no other details about how he knew it was Noordin.