Mastermind of Bali Attacks Suspected in Jakarta Blasts

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2009 10:10 AM CDT
Smoke billows from J.W. Marriott hotel after an explosion went off in Jakarta, Indonesia, yesterday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Indonesian officials are fairly certain the wanted terrorist who masterminded the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings is also responsible for yesterday's attacks in Jakarta, the BBC reports. There are “strong indications” that Noordin Mohamed Top—a financier for al Qaeda-linked terror group Jemaah Islamiah who is thought to have started a splinter organization—organized the bombings, which killed 9 people, including 2 suicide bombers. Authorities say the bombs were identical to those used in Bali.

The attacks come close on the heels of Indonesia's presidential election, which went off without incident. An anti-terror official says the attacks may be meant to destabilize what has been praised as working democracy. The foreign minister of Australia, which appears to have lost three citizens in the bombings, is due to arrive in Jakarta today to stand “shoulder to shoulder with Indonesia at this terrible time.” Eight Americans were injured in the blast.