INDON TERROR GROUP EYED IN DAVAO BLAST  

Davao City, March 12, 2003 -- Investigators are looking into the possible involvement of the Jemaah Islamiah extremist group in the March 4 bombing of the Davao international airport which killed 21 people and wounded 150 others.

Probers said they are tracking down four Indonesian operatives who had linked up with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to carry out the bombing.

The military had earlier tagged Muntazer Sudang, an alleged MILF member, as the airport bomber. He died when the bomb prematurely blew up, the military said. The accusation was denied by Sudang's relatives and even by MILF officials.

The Jemaah Islamiah, said to be funded by the al Qaeda international terrorist network, aims to establish an Islamic state in Southeast Asia.

The four Indonesians sought on the Davao bombing underwent training on how to make bombs at an MILF camp on Liguasan marsh months before the airport bombing, a source said.

The source said the four are remnants of the cell under Roman Fathur Al-Ghozi who was sentenced last year to 12 years imprisonment for keeping a ton of explosives in a safehouse in General Santos City.

The Al-Ghozi group was tagged as responsible for the bomb attack on the Light Rail Transit in Manila on Dec. 31, 2001.

"The Indonesians have been monitored to have sneaked into Davao City from General Santos City weeks before the airport bombing," said the source, a police official who asked he not be named.

In July last year, another Indonesian with suspected links to Jemaah Islamiah, Oskar Makawata, was arrested for allegedly masterminding the bomb attack on a shopping mall in General Santos last April 21, which killed 15 people and wounded 50 others. (Malaya)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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