August 26, 2009 / 2:43 AM / 10 years ago

Indonesian police arrest suspect over hotel blasts

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian police said they have arrested an Indonesian who is suspected of obtaining overseas funding for last month’s bomb attack on two hotels in Jakarta, which killed nine people and injured scores.

Mohamad Jibril “was suspected of having a role in the overseas funding,” police spokesman Nanan Soekarna told reporters late on Tuesday. “From who and how, we are still investigating.” Jibril was arrested on Tuesday afternoon.

Security expert Sidney Jones told Reuters Jibril had studied in Pakistan and was a member of a group previously linked to al-Qaeda. He ran the radical magazine “Jihadmagz” in Indonesia, she said.

Malaysian-born militant Noordin Mohammad Top, who heads a more violent splinter group of the Jemaah Islamiah militant network, is widely thought to have been behind the attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels.

Since the bombings, police have arrested at least six people, including Jibril, and three others died during raids. But initial reports they had killed Top during a raid in Central Java proved to be incorrect.

Police are trying to pin down whether the attackers received overseas funding from al-Qaeda.

Last week, police said they had arrested a Saudi national suspected of involvement in the fundings of the recent attacks.

Media reports quoting police sources have said that authorities believed that couriers may have brought funds for last month’s hotel into Indonesia from the Middle East.

Reporting by Olivia Rondonuwu; Editing by Sara Webb and Bill Tarrant

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