Solo (Indonesia), Nov. 24 (Reuters): Indonesian police said today they had found books and video discs of speeches by Osama bin Laden in a house rented by the suspected mastermind of last month’s bomb attacks on the holiday island of Bali.
“While in the house rented by Imam Samudra, we found several books and two boxes of video compact discs on the lectures and speeches of Osama bin Laden,” Central Java chief police detective commissioner Rus Bagyo told reporters.
Police have said Samudra was the leader of the group that carried out the October 12 Bali attack that killed more than 180 people, most of them foreign tourists. He was arrested in west Java on Thursday while trying to board a ferry for Sumatra island.
Bagyo said the house was among three police searched in a village 3 km from the Ngruki Islamic boarding school near the city of Solo in Central Java province.
Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged leader of the Jemaah Islamiah regional Muslim militant network, was a founder of the school and was teaching there until he was arrested early this month over other bombing incidents in Indonesia.
Bashir denies any wrongdoing or any link to Jemaah Islamiah, which intelligence agencies have tied to bin Laden’s al Qaida network, suspected of carrying out the September 11 attacks in the United States.
Some Indonesian and foreign officials have blamed the Bali attack on Jemaah Islamiah, but police say a connection has yet to be proved.
A neighbour told reporters Samudra had rented the house for three months but had left three days before the Bali bombings. Police said at another of the three houses, rented by a different man, they found assault rifle ammunition as well as 1 kg of urea fertiliser and some other powder, which they said could be used to make bombs. Samudra is in custody in west Java.
Indonesian and Australian police have been searching houses of Bali bombing suspects in west Java and were examining a laptop computer found at a home also rented by Samudra, an investigator said in Cilegon town in Banten province.
“We are still conducting investigations” of the laptop’s contents, the investigator said, declining to give details.