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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Family of slain terrorist arrives in Jakarta to view his body

JAKARTA (AP): The family of a notorious Asian terrorist who was killed last week in a police raid arrived in the Indonesian capital Sunday to ask authorities to send his body back to Malaysia.

Azahari bin Husin, a Malaysian explosives expert for the al-Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian terror group Jamaah Islamiyah (JI), is accused of coordinating a series of suicide bombings in Indonesia that have killed 244 people since 2002.

Forensic experts say Azahari, shot dead Wednesday by anti-terror police in the town of Batu in East Java, has already been positively identified through a fingerprint analysis, but DNA tests can also be carried out if his family requests them.

His younger brother Bani Yamin Husin arrived in Jakarta with one other relative Sunday to visually identify the body and to take the necessary steps to have it repatriated. The family wants Azahari to be buried in his hometown.

"I will discuss with the Malaysian Embassy here how I can identify and bring the body home," Husin told reporters at the airport.

Jamaah Islamiyah, which wants to establish an Islamic state spanning Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the southern Philippines, has been weakened in recent years by a regional crackdown that has resulted in dozens of arrests.

At least three of the group's leaders remain at large, including Malaysian militant Noordin Mohamad Top.

Azahari and Noordin are accused of direct involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists; two bombings in Jakarta in 2003 and 2004 that took at least 22 lives; and the Oct. 1 suicide attacks in Bali thatcaused 20 more deaths.

Indonesia and Malaysia have both said Azahari's family will have to make a formal request if they want his remains to be repatriated, but that none has been received.

"If they want to claim Dr. Azahari's body, our government has no objections," Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was quoted as saying Friday by the Malaysian national news agency Bernama. (*

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