As Indonesia tries to identify those behind Friday’s deadly hotel blasts, the finger of blame is being pointed at a Malaysian-born militant.
Suspicion has fallen on Noordin Mohamed Top who is thought to lead a splinter group of Jemaah Islamiah, the Islamists blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings. Already tight security has been stepped up after yesterday’s attacks that claimed eight or nine lives, according to conflicting reports. “I think what happened has put Indonesians to shame,” said one Jakarta resident. “We were waiting for Manchester United to arrive but what has happened shows the government can’t take care of their security.” “The bombers are not thinking that the effect of this is hurting Indonesians,” another man added. “I hope this incident will be fully investigated and its mastermind will be caught.” Suicide bombers struck the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta’s main business district during breakfast. Both establishments are popular with businessmen and diplomats. At least half of those killed and many of the 50 of so injured are foreigners. Indonesia knows the bombings and TV pictures of casualties broadcast around the world are likely to have a devastating impact on tourism, its economy and its image abroad.