In Bali, Terrorists Target Restaurants in Attacks that Kill 26

Bombs were stored in backpacks, possibly detonated by cellular phones


BALI, Indonesia -- Police raised the alert level for Indonesia's capital and the president warned of more attacks Sunday as a chilling video shot the day before showed a suspected bomber clutching a backpack and strolling past diners moments before one of three suicide bombings killed 26 people on Bali.

The near-simultaneous bombings on the resort island also injured 101 people, including six Americans.

The attacks apparently were planned by Southeast Asia's two most-wanted men, who are believed to be connected to the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah, said Maj. Gen. Ansyaad Mbai, a top Indonesian anti-terror official.

Fear of more attacks on tourists prompted Israel to warn its citizens Sunday not to travel to Egypt's Sinai desert during the upcoming month of Jewish holidays, saying it has information that Arab militants planning strikes against Israelis already are located in the resort area.

The alleged masterminds of the Bali attacks were believed to be Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Mohamed Top, both Malaysians who fled to Indonesia after a crackdown on militants following the Sept. 11 attacks, officials said.

The masterminds were not among the suspected bombers, whose remains were found at the scenes, officials said. All three bombers were believed to be wearing belts of explosives, police said.

Mbai said at least three other people were believed to be involved in the operation, and suspected they were still on Bali. He did not say whether they included the two Malaysian fugitives.

Mbai also said police believe the bombs were detonated by mobile phone.

Authorities have enlisted the help Nasir Abbas, a former Jemaah Islamiyah operative working as an informant, to help in the investigation. Abbas arrived on Bali two hours after the blasts, but it was unclear whether he had concluded a deal with police.

"Police are using him to help find which group is behind this operation, former terrorists can help give details," Mbai told The Associated Press.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono warned that terrorists could be planning more strikes in the world's most populous Muslim nation as Jakarta's police chief put the capital on top alert, with two-thirds of its police force on standby.

"The terrorists are still looking for soft targets," Yudhoyono said at a news conference after viewing the devastation.

Western and Indonesian intelligence agencies have warned repeatedly that Jemaah Islamiyah was plotting more attacks despite a string of arrests.

Last month, Yudhoyono said the extremist network might strike Jakarta during September or October. He explained Saturday that his warning was based on intelligence the terrorists had already prepared the explosives.

There were no claims of responsibility for Saturday night's coordinated attacks on two packed seafood cafes in the Jimbaran beach resort and the Raja Cafe noodle and steakhouse in the bustling tourist center of Kuta.

Video shot by a vacationer at the three-story Raja Cafe captured a suspected bomber in a black T-shirt walking past foreign and local tourists eating dinner, sipping drinks and chatting at candlelit tables.

The man clutches his backpack, adjusts it slightly, then walks out of view. Moments later there is an explosion from his direction, followed by gray smoke and terrified screams. Police said the video, obtained by Associated Press Television News, was part of the investigation.

Suspicion for the blasts fell on the Southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, which wants to establish an Islamic state across Southeast Asia and has been linked to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.

Jemaah Islamiyah has been blamed for the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreigners, and subsequent attacks on the J.W. Marriott hotel and the Australian Embassy that killed 22. Saturday's blasts occurred nearly three years to the day of the 2002 bombings, which also were in Kuta.

This content continues onto the next page...