Tue, Jul 08, 2003 - Page 5 News List

Police unveil Bali attack suspect's computer files

AFP , DENPASAR, INDONESIA

Indonesian terror key suspect Abdul Aziz, alias Imam Samudra, shouts after his trial in Denpasar, Bali, yesterday. During the trial, Samudra stood beside prosecution witness Australian federal police expert Nicholas Klein and shouted, ?

A statement claiming responsibility for the Bali bombings and pornographic photos of white women were found on a computer belonging to a key suspect, an Indonesian trial heard yesterday.

Photos of bodies from the bombings which killed 202 people were also found along with pictures of another suspect Amrozi, computer experts told the trial of alleged bombing mastermind Imam Samudra.

The Web site statement, as quoted by police, expresses hatred for Jews and other "unbelievers." It says Bali -- a "place of sin" -- was attacked in revenge for the US-led attack in Afghanistan in 2001.

Also found on Samudra's laptop were pictures of a suspected terror group leader Abu Bakar Bashir and photos of national police chief Dai Bachtiar and top ministers, the judges were told.

Police say the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror group, which has been linked to al-Qaeda, staged the bombing of mainly Western tourists in two crowded nightspots last October 12 in revenge for injustices to Muslims worldwide.

Prosecutors say Samudra, 33, was field commander and picked the targets. Bashir is on trial separately as JI's alleged leader.

Samudra, described as a computer expert, admitted the laptop is his but said investigators planted some items on it to frame him.

Australian federal police expert Nicholas Klein said he "cloned" its hard disk on December 18 and 19th in a process which recovers even deleted files.

He said pages from an Internet site called Istimata, which included the statement, were found along with photos of bomb victims and information on sharing stolen credit cards.

An Indonesian police computer expert, Lieutenant Colonel Brata Mandala, said the laptop was confiscated on November 21, the day Samudra was arrested. It was not switched on between then and the cloning, he said.

He said deleted material included pictures "of naked western women," a photo of Bachtiar and a photo of the top security and welfare ministers.

The Istimata site was entered in the laptop on November 18. As quoted by Mandala, it said it was created "to answer the questions believers have on the Bali blast incidents."

It said a "small group of Islamic believers had felt a calling to avenge the savagery of the forces of crusaders and their allies ... against the Islamic state of Afghanistan that claimed tens of thousands in 2001."

The site urged revenge for "the blood of Muslims, of elderly men, women and Muslim children who have been slaughtered by those damned unbelievers."

The Istimata site purportedly said Bali was targeted because "nations of colonialists, terrorists, oppressors and destroyers of the dignity of Indonesian women" gathered there.

"Bali is a large and popular place of sin in the world, one in a mainly Muslim country .

"Especially for Legian Street in Kuta, not few are the groups of Jews -- may Allah curse them -- who use Bali as an intelligence channel, a place to rendezvous for them to destroy the Muslim community."

Samudra said he had seen the laptop in an unsealed condition one week before the cloning and had been questioned about the istimata.com site before the cloning.

"What was found is not a [Web]site but a site plan that had not yet been launched."

He said some files had been inserted by others, including the photos of Bashir and Bachtiar, "to influence public opinion that I revere Abu Bakar Bashir or hate Dai Bachtiar."

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