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Manhunt for P'pine terror suspects

Al-Ghozi (C) was arrested in January 2002 and sentenced for the illegal possession of explosives.
Al-Ghozi (C) was arrested in January 2002 and sentenced for the illegal possession of explosives.

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• War against terror: Southeast Asia front 

- Charged for planting the bombs used in the attacks.

Imam Samudra
- Accused of planning and executing the attacks.

Mukhlas (Ali Ghufron)
- Accused of being in charge of the bombings.
- Said to be the operational chief of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

Ali Imron
- Said to have acted as a courier for various people and items related to the attacks.
- Yet to go on trial.

Abu Bakar Ba'asyir
- Said to be the spiritual head of JI.
- Accused of treason for his involvement in church bombings in 2000.
- Not charged in relation to the Bali attacks.

Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi
- Believed to be a key JI operative in southeast Asia.
- Linked to several bombings in the Philippines and jailed for possessing explosives.
- Not linked to the Bali attacks.

MANILA, Philippines (CNN) -- Philippine authorities have launched a manhunt for three Islamic militants, including an Indonesian man with links to the regional Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror network, who escaped from their Manila jail.

Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, a self-confessed JI operative, along with two suspected Abu Sayyaf members were found missing from their cells early Monday, police said.

The escape took place before dawn from the heavily secured intelligence command building at Camp Crame, the national police headquarters in central Manila.

Three policemen guarding the men during the period of escape have been placed under investigation, a police spokesman said.

The escape is a serious blow to Philippines counter-terrorism efforts.

It is also something of an embarrassment as the breakout was announced after Australian Prime Minister John Howard signed a security aid package and agreement with Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Al-Ghozi was arrested in January 2002, days after police seized more than a dozen suspected terrorists in Singapore for an alleged plot to bomb U.S. and other Western embassies in the city-state.

According to other al Qaeda operatives now in custody, if he had not been caught those plots would have continued as planned.

He led police to a ton of explosives intended for the Singapore plot.

He was sentenced in April, 2002 by a Philippine court to 10 to 12 years after pleading guilty to the illegal possession of explosives.

Al-Ghozi was the link between local Muslim militants in four Southeast Asian nations and the al Qaeda terror network. He traveled frequently between Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore for JI, CNN Manila Bureau Chief Maria Ressa said.

He was also a bomb expert for the Philippines extremist Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

According to intelligence and testimony he has made, Al-Ghozi has admitted to being behind several bombings in the southern Philippines as well as the December 2000 bomb attack commuter train in Manila, which killed more than a dozen people and injured scores of others.

Intelligence officials and several regional governments say JI is the Southeast Asian arm of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network.

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