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Homeland Security

SLUG: 2-301316 Indonesia / Bali









INTRO: Authorities in Indonesia have handed over the alleged mastermind of the Bali bombing to prosecutors.

As Patricia Nunan reports from Jakarta, the move brings Imam Samudra one step closer to trial for his part in the terrorist attack last October that claimed more than 200 lives.

TEXT: Suspect Imam Samudra says he hopes the United States is destroyed soon. Speaking to reporters while being transferred from police to state prosecutors, Mr. Samdura also called on all Muslims to support Iraq in its war with the United States.

Imam Samudra is the alleged mastermind behind last October's bomb attack in Bali. Authorities say he confessed to planning the attack, choosing the target and giving the order for the bombing to be carried out.

Indonesian authorities call the incident the worst terrorist attack in the nation's history. First a small blast went off inside a bar on a crowded tourist street, which drew people to the area. Then a car bomb was detonated, destroying two nightclubs. More than 200 people were killed, mostly foreign tourists.

Mr. Samudra was not the only one speaking out against the United States on Wednesday. Another suspect in the Bali bombing, Amrozi, told reporters that the war in Iraq proves he was right to participate in the attack.

Mr. Amrozi was the first person arrested in the Bali investigation. Police say he confessed to owning the van used in the explosion. He is being held at police headquarters in Bali.

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Amrozi said the bombing was meant to target Americans. He expressed regret that most of the foreigners killed were Australian.

More than 30 people have been arrested for playing a part in the Bali bombing. Two other suspects accused of minor roles in the plot were handed over to prosecutors along with Mr. Samudra.

Last month police gave prosecutors their evidence against both Mr. Samudra and Mr. Amrozi. Each file was roughly 15 hundred pages long, but so far, neither man has been charged.

Now that Mr. Samudra is in prosecutors' custody, authorities say they expect charges against him and Mr. Amrozi next month. The trials of both suspects should begin in late April or early May. (Signed)


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