From The Age
TERRORISTS attempted to detonate a third bomb before two massive blasts ripped through two Jakarta hotels last week, but it malfunctioned, police say.
The discovery has prompted speculation the terrorists intended to kill more victims by exploding the first bomb on the 18th floor of the JW Marriott hotel, which would have caused guests to run downstairs into the ground floor public areas where a suicide bomber could have been waiting.
One suicide bomber detonated a massive blast in a breakfast gathering of top business people in a private lounge of the Marriott.
Two minutes later, another bomber detonated a blast that ripped through a restaurant in the nearby Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
At least nine people were killed, including three Australians. More than 50 others were injured.
The head the national police public relations division, Yoga Ana, told journalists the bomb found in room 1808 of the Marriott was active when police found it shortly after the blasts.
It had been set to explode before the first suicide bomb at 7.43am. Islamist terrorists have often exploded one bomb, closely followed by another, to maximise casualties, including in the 2002 Bali bombing that killed 88 Australians.
While suspicions of the organiser of the attacks have centred on a Noordin Top, a militant who uses a twisted brand of Islam to justify his actions, Indonesia's top organisation for Muslim scholars has declared publicly that the Jakarta bombings were terror acts and not a jihad or holy war.
The declaration by the Indonesian Ulema Council comes amid calls for the media to stop giving a forum to the firebrand preacher Abu Bakar Bashir, whose outrageous claims this week included that the bombings were the work of the CIA.