Brunei detains Indonesian on terror suspicions: Report

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - Brunei authorities have detained an Indonesian national with links to South-east Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) for alleged "terrorist-related activities" in the oil-rich sultanate, a media report said on Thursday.

The suspect, identified as "Daniel, alias Awaluddin Sitorus", was detained on February 21 and is believed to be a member of JI, the Brunei Times said.

JI, which is thought to be allied with Al-Qaeda, has been blamed for a number of attacks in South-east Asia, with the deadliest being the Bali bombings of October 2002 that killed 202 people.

Awaluddin is suspected of plotting to help militants enter and use tiny Brunei - which shares the huge island of Borneo with Malaysia and Indonesia - as a "safe heaven" and to channel financing to militants abroad, the newspaper said, citing Brunei security officials. Brunei authorities could not immediately be reached by AFP for comment.

Awaluddin, who the newspaper said was in his 40s and used aliases including Abu Yasar and Dani Sitorus, had stood trial in Indonesia a decade ago over a plot to bomb three churches in the city of Medan in May 2000.

He was acquitted in the case. Two of the bombs were found and defused while a third injured 23 people.

Investigations in Brunei indicated he had been in contact with the leader of militant group Kumpulan Mujahidin Indonesia and helped one "suspicious individual" enter Brunei early last year, the Brunei Times said.

Tightly controlled Brunei is a conservative Muslim monarchy, but authorities have long adopted a tough stand on militants.