Skip to main content /WORLD /WORLD

Philippines jails Indonesian 'bomb expert'

Al-Ghozi, an alleged bomber for the al-Qaeda network, listens as his conviction is read out  

By Rufi Vigilar in Manila

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines (CNN) -- A Philippine court has sentenced an Indonesian linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network to 10 to 12 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to illegal possession of explosives.

Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi was arrested in January, only days after more than a dozen suspected terrorists also linked to al Qaeda were seized in Singapore for an alleged plot to bomb American and other Western installations in the city state.

The arrest of Al-Ghozi, whom Philippine investigators have called a bomb expert, led to the discovery of a ton of explosives in a house he rented in southern General Santos City. Asia
More news from our
Asia edition


The explosives were supposedly to be shipped to Singapore via Indonesia for the anti-U.S. attacks.

The General Santos City court also ordered al-Ghozi to pay a fine of 200,000 pesos ($4,000).

Philippine investigators say Al-Ghozi has confessed to being a member of the Indonesian Islamic group Jemaah Islamiya, which is suspected of links to al Qaeda.

They also said he has admitted to a role in the December 30, 2000 bomb blast on board a commuter train in Manila, which killed more than a dozen people and injured scores of others.

Fake passports

Al-Ghozi will also be charged with holding two fake passports, Justice Undersecretary Manuel Teehankee told CNN.

Al-Ghozi faces six to 12 more years in prison on the passports charge.

Three other Indonesian terrorist suspects were arrested at Manila's international airport last month, after explosive materials were found in their luggage.

But the Indonesian embassy has asked Philippine authorities to release the three suspects -- Tamsil Linrung, Agus Dwirkana and Abdul Jamal Balfas -- amid allegations of political harassment.

Linrung is associated with the political party of Amien Rais, speaker of the National Assembly (MPR) who is said to have presidential ambitions.

The Philippines and Indonesia have cooperative ties to exchange counter-terrorist intelligence.

The Philippines has also detained four terrorist suspects from the Middle East, two Vietnamese, and one from Japan.




Back to the top