Tue, Jun 19, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Indonesian militant `did not approve' of hotel bombing

AFP , JAKARTA

An Indonesian militant believed to head the military wing of Islamic extremist network Jemaah Islamyah (JI) has said he opposed the 2003 bombing of the JW Marriott hotel in Jakarta, a report said yesterday.

Abu Dujana, who was nabbed by counter-terrorism police in central Java on June 9, told weekly news magazine Tempo that those responsible for the bombing, which left 12 dead, were "insubordinate to Jemaah Islamiyah."

Dujana said that fugitive Malaysian militant Noordin Mohammad Top had wanted him to carry out the operation but he refused and "did not approve" of it, forcing two other men who were not members of JI at the time to be recruited.

Dujana, 37, met with a Tempo journalist at one of Indonesia's feared Brimob paramilitary stations in Jogyakarta, and was still limping from a gunshot wound to his leg sustained during his arrest.

He reportedly said Noordin asked the JI leader at the time, Ustad Adung, for members to help out and was assigned a man named Qotadah.

Dujana said he took Qotadah to "meet with Noordin, and later I found out that that meeting was used [by the police] to accuse me of plotting the JW Marriott bombing."

He said Qotadah had already recruited two people from Sumatra to carry out the car bomb attack.

"I told him that he shouldn't have done that. [People] assignments should be approved by the organization," he told the magazine.

In a meeting a few days after the bombing, he said he was "furious with Noordin for his acts" and Noordin asked to go into seclusion with JI protection.

Police said last week that Dujana was wanted for playing a role in other attacks, including the Bali bombings in 2002 which left 202 people dead and the the 2004 Australian embassy blast.

A few hours after nabbing Dujana, police also arrested the head of JI, Zarkasi, who admitted he had been the organization's boss since 2004.

The pair's capture is a severe blow to JI, which aims to create a pan-Islamic state across much of Southeast Asia. But analysts have said the group has the capacity to eventually bounce back.

Dujana's wife, Sri Murdiyati, described in a separate interview with Tempo how her husband was captured while on his motorbike with three of their four children.

"A car closed in on them and my husband was ordered to squat and put his hands on his head," she said, adding that her eight-year-old son had told her he was "shot in close range, when he was squatting, in front of his children."

She said she was "surprised and had never known" that her husband went by the name Abu Dujana.

"I don't believe my husband is Abu Dujana ... It's impossible that my husband is an expert in bomb-making -- he can only sew clothes and bags," she said.

Dujana admitted his position in JI on a video aired by police last Friday.

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