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Jakarta forensic team finds possible Bali link

At least 14 killed in hotel blast in Indonesian capital

Firefighters battle the blaze caused by the explosion at the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Jakarta.
Firefighters battle the blaze caused by the explosion at the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Jakarta.

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CNN's Atika Shubert reports on the devastating terror attack at a U.S. owned hotel in Jakarta
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JW MARRIOTT JAKARTA

Opened in September 2001, part of American-owned chain.

Newest five-star hotel in Jakarta.

Located in newly developed Mega Kuningan commercial district in the south of the city center.

Thirty-three stories, with 333 rooms.

Major multinational corporations within a 1.8-mile (three-kilometer) radius include Conoco, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Motorola, Procter & Gamble and Schlumberger.

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Searching through rubble, forensic experts have found clues that could link Tuesday's bomb blast at a Jakarta, Indonesia, hotel to attacks last year in Bali, CNN has learned.

At least 14 people were killed and more than 100 injured when a powerful car bomb was detonated at lunchtime Tuesday at the five-star JW Marriott Hotel in central Jakarta, authorities said.

Forensics experts said one of the bomb ingredients was potassium chlorate -- the chemical used in October's Bali nightclub bombings that killed more than 200 people.

Indonesian police have blamed the Bali attacks on the radical Islamic group Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been linked to al Qaeda.

Last month, a raid on a suspected terrorist bomb-making factory netted a large quantity of potassium chlorate and a suspected member of the group.

No one has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack on the Marriott hotel, but suspicion surrounds Jemaah Islamiyah. In the past few weeks, police have said there were warnings that the group might be planning a major attack.

Indonesian officials said a Dutch national was among the dead, and U.S. State Department officials said at least two Americans were hurt. An earlier report that an American was killed was inaccurate.

Several Australians and Singaporeans also were wounded in the attack, Indonesian officials said.

Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri briefly visited the scene of devastation Tuesday evening, and her government is expected to announce stricter security measures Wednesday.

World leaders have expressed horror and outrage at the blast, with Australia and the Philippines saying the attack would strengthen their efforts to stamp out terrorism. (Outrage from around the world)

The blast occurred about 12:30 p.m. local time Tuesday, shattering scores of plate-glass windows in the 33-floor luxury hotel, which is popular with expatriate business executives.

CNN's Atika Shubert, reporting from the scene, said the explosion was powerful, with debris strewn across a wide area in front of the hotel. (Hotel tightly guarded)

Pools of blood and broken glass littered the driveway running past the hotel complex.

One hotel guest, Australian tourist Simon Leuning, had just checked in and was relaxing in his room when the explosion occurred.

"The window blew in, blew me across the room," he told Reuters Television. "I got out of there as fast as I could." (Pools of blood)

Most of the dead and wounded were in the hotel lobby.

Tuesday's attack bears the hallmark of Jemaah Islamiyah, which aims "to inflict mass casualties, as was the case in Bali," said Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert with the Singapore-based Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies.

"[Jemaah Islamiyah] is very much intact and operational," Gunaratna said. "This attack could have been timed to coincide with the trial of the Bali bombers."

A verdict is due this week in the case of the so-called "smiling bomber" -- the man accused of planting the bombs in the nightclub attacks on the Indonesian island of Bali. (Bomber awaits fate)

Investigators said Jemaah Islamiyah funded the Bali bombers.

Jemaah Islamiyah's alleged spiritual leader, radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'ashir, is also on trial for a series of bombings in 2000.

Hotel security considered tight

Visitors to the JW Marriott said the hotel had implemented stringent security checks, including metal detectors, and was considered to be one of the most secure hotels in the city.

The hotel, part of the U.S.-owned international chain, is near a number of foreign embassies and headquarters of several major multinational corporations.

It is also a popular venue for functions, and the U.S. ambassador used it to host July Fourth celebrations.

The Marriott opened in September 2001 and is situated to the south of Jakarta's city center in the newly developed Mega Kuningan commercial district.

For those who need information about employees and guests of the Jakarta Marriott, the company offers these numbers: Inside the United States, call (866) 211-4610, and outside the United States, call 011-402-390-3265.

-- CNN Jakarta Bureau Chief Maria Ressa and reporter Amy Chew contributed to this report.


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