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Police: Bali Bombing Terror head kills himself

CNN | November 9, 2005

Fingerprints prove accused mastermind of Bali attacks is dead JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Indonesian police have confirmed that one of Southeast Asia's most-wanted militants is dead after blowing himself up.

Azahari Husin, a Malaysian in his late 40s, was believed to be the bomb expert for the Islamic terror network Jemaah Islamiyah, and to have written its bomb manual.

The Australian-educated Azahari is accused of being a mastermind behind the deadly Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005.

Azahari was one of three militants pursued by police to a hideout in eastern Java, Indonesian Police Chief General Sutanto told Indonesian private news station Metro TV on Wednesday.

Sutanto said Azahari's identity was confirmed through fingerprints.

A second body was found in the house and is believed to be a militant known as Armand.

Another suspected militant believed to be Azahari's courier was arrested in another town, Sutanto added.

Police tracked the three men to a home in Batu, and carried out surveillance for about 10 days.

When police arrived at the house Wednesday a shootout ensued before authorities heard about 11 explosions from inside. Police were unable to go into the building until early Thursday to retrieve remains.

About 30 bombs were found in the home, National Police spokesman Aryanto Budiharjo said.

The identification of a suicide bomber involved in the October 1 Bali bombings led police to Azahari, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty told The Associated Press.

The October 1 bomb attacks at three crowded restaurants in Bali killed 22 people on the resort island, including at least two Australians. (The Bali blasts)

Noordin Top, a Malaysian who also is highly sought after, was believed to have been Azahari's accomplice in the Bali explosions.

Australian police have working closely with their Indonesian counterparts to track terrorists since the first Bali bombings on October 12, 2002, which killed 202 people , including 88 Australians.

"If he is confirmed as the person who has died in this operation yesterday ... it will make a big dent in operations of the radical terrorist groups in Indonesia," Keelty told ABC in a telephone interview from Thailand.

Officials believe Azahari and Top had begun creating their own terror network, by recruiting and training suicide bombers.

Last modified November 10, 2005