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Police detain suspect in hotel bombings

world Updated: Aug 27, 2009 16:52 IST

Indonesian police said on Wednesday they have detained a suspect who may have helped fund last month's Jakarta luxury hotel bombings that killed seven people.

Mohamad Jibril Abdurahman, who calls himself the "Prince of Jihad" on his hardline Web site, was taken into police custody late on Tuesday, National Police spokesman Major General Nanan Sukarna said. Police have detained five suspects so far in the July 17 attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels, while five more remain at large. The bombings broke a four-year lull in terror attacks in Indonesia.

Before he was detained, Abdurahman declined to comment when asked in a telephone interview with local TVOne television if he was involved in funding the bombings.

Abdurahman's father, Abu Jibril, said his son did not help fund the attacks.

"Every day he asked me for money for lunch," Jibril, a hardline preacher, said in a televised news conference in Jakarta on Wednesday. "How could he fund bombings?"

Jibril is also well known in Islamist circles in Indonesia. In 2003, the US Treasury Department blocked his assets and accused him of being the "primary recruiter and second in command" of Southeast Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah. He denies any links to terrorism.

The 30-year-old Abdurahman runs a publishing company that has produced several glossy books on jihad including a series by the three militants executed for their role in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings.

Abdurahman studied at a hardline Islamic school in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2003. One of his friends there, the younger brother of alleged Southeast Asian terror leader Hambali, was found guilty of involvement in the 2004 Marriott hotel bombing in Jakarta.