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Amrozi met with Samudra several times in August and September this year to discuss Bali, according to his confession to Indonesian police. The last time they met, "we had a chat after praying together at the Great Mosque in Solo," he said to police. Samudra told Amrozi he would send some cash. Amrozi bought the van and the chemicals used in the bombing and ferried them to Bali. When he, Samudra and a number of the other planners met at the resort island, Amrozi was reminded of his place in the pecking order. "At one point I asked them where I was supposed to take the car and explosives," Amrozi recounted. "But [Samudra] told me it was not my business anymore." According to a source familiar with a Nov. 15 interrogation, Amrozi disclosed that the target of the group's main bomb was changed at the last moment by the intervention of three mysterious strangers. Originally, Amrozi told his captors, the group had planned to target only the U.S. consulate in Denpasar, Bali's capital. But the strangers suggested that only a token bomb be left at the empty consulate; the main effort was to be concentrated on the Kuta bars.
After the Bali bombings, the team dispersed. Patient police work soon led the authorities to Amrozi, who had used his own name to buy the van that carried the main bomb. Samudra, more experienced, managed to stay on the lam for five weeks, carefully limiting his cell-phone conversations to 20 seconds to foil police scanning. The latest technology, however, requires only a few seconds to trace a call, and on Nov. 21 police tracked down Samudra and nabbed two of his bodyguards. They said their boss planned to board a bus about to leave on a ferry to Pekanbaru, on the island of Sumatra. Two policemen arrested Samudra. Indonesian police say he later confessed to being the chief planner of the Bali bombings and to a string of unsolved crimes. Samudra, according to police sources, said one of the bombs that exploded in Kuta was, as he put it, a "martyr bomb," carried by a man known as Iqbal. If that proves true, Kuta would be the first known suicide bombing in Southeast Asia. Police are currently comparing dna from more than 400 body parts found in Bali with a sample from Iqbal's mother. Last week Malaysian authorities arrested four more suspected terrorists who they say had been trained as suicide bombers.
THE LINKS WITH AL-QAEDA
Regional intelligence sources tell TIME the police have few clues as to the whereabouts of three critical suspects in the Bali attack. Their identities have not yet been officially revealed, but sources tell TIME the list is headed by a Yemeni national named Syafullah, a senior al-Qaeda operative who is alleged to have been involved in the 1996 bombings of a U.S. military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 servicemen. Syafullah would provide the direct link between JI and al-Qaeda that investigators have long suspected but have been unable to prove conclusively. Also wanted are a Malaysian named Zubair, who fought in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, and an Indonesian named Syawal, who is married to Sungkar's daughter. Investigators believe that Syawal was an instructor at a camp on the island of Sulawesi used by al-Qaeda for training recruits.