Bomb maker’s death may spark revenge attacks

The killing of Malaysian bomb maker Azahari Husin by Indonesian police may spark revenge attacks against the country’s president or other top officials, Indonesia’s spy chief warned on Wednesday.

Syamsir Siregar, head of Indonesia’s intelligence agency, said that before his death, Azahari, and his compatriot Noordin Mohammad Top — who is still at large — had recruited an unspecified number of trained militants.

“They are capable of carrying out their jobs without being ordered by the two,” Siregar told reporters.

Militants may be inspired by Azahari’s death to launch fresh attacks, he said.

“It is quite possible since they could not accept the fact that their leader is dead,” Siregar replied when asked whether the death could provide motivation for attacks against President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or other officials.

Yudhoyono on Tuesday confirmed that he was under an increased security threat, based on information provided by the intelligence agency. Officials have not however divulged whether any specific threat has been made.

Police and troops in the world’s most populous Muslim nation have already been on high alert over the Christmas and New Year period amid concerns about reprisal attacks following Azahari’s death last month at his East Java hideout.

Azahari and Top were key members of the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Islamic extremist network, blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people as well as a string of other attacks in Indonesia.

Documents found in Azahari’s East Java hideaway also indicated that extremists were already planning attacks over the holiday period.

Spy chief Siregar said that security threats also existed against himself and other officials such as national police chief Sutanto. – AFP

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