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Mastermind confesses to Bali bombings

Iman Sumudra reportedly decided where the bombs should be placed and in what order they should go off to maximize casualties
Iman Sumudra reportedly decided where the bombs should be placed and in what order they should go off to maximize casualties

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CNN's Atika Shubert reports on the arrest of the suspected mastermind behind the deadly Bali bombing.
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Thousands take part in a cleansing ceremony at the site of the devastating bomb attack. CNN's Atika Shubert has the story.
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A CNN Special Report by Jakarta Bureau Chief Maria Ressa
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BALI, Indonesia (CNN) -- A man arrested by Indonesian police has admitted to planning and carrying out last month's deadly Bali attacks.

The alleged mastermind of last month's nightclub bombings that killed nearly 200 people on Friday has confirmed his role in the attacks, Indonesian police said.

"He has already confessed," said Gen. Made Mangku Pastika, who is heading the investigation.

Earlier Friday, national police chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar and a team of detectives flew by helicopter from Merak to arrange for the suspect's transfer to Jakarta, The Associated Press reported.

The arrest of Imam Samudra late Thursday was the biggest breakthrough of the investigation into the October 12 blasts. Authorities now say they are confident his

remaining accomplices will be captured soon.

Samudra, 35, was arrested on a bus in the port of Merak on Indonesia's main island of Java as he tried to reach a ferry bound for the western island of Sumatra, a police spokesman told CNN.

Two other men were taken into custody with him. Police said they do not believe they were involved in the Bali bombing, but were trying to aid Samudra in his escape.

Police said they learned Samudra was planning to flee from one of his bodyguards, who was arrested Tuesday.

A seventh suspect, named only as Amrozi, is already in custody in connection with the blasts.

According to a suspect arrest earlier, Sumudra formulated the plan, chose the location, decided where the bombs should be placed and in what order they should go off to maximize casualties. He also came up with the financing.

Samudra is believed to be a key member of Jemaah islamiyah, an Islamic militant group with ties to al Qaeda. It is not known whether he initiated the idea for the attack or did it at the direction of someone else.

The Bali nightclub attack killed mostly tourists holidaying on the resort town of Kuta, many of them Australians.

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Bomb skills

Investigators believe Imam Samudra learned bomb-making skills "during visits in Afghanistan," although he did not give further details or say on what evidence that belief was based.

Last week, police identified Amrozi as the owner of a van used in the attack.

In an unusual public display, Amrozi was questioned publicly by the police chief in Bali in front of several members of the media.

During the interrogation, Amrozi smiled at the media throng and said he was glad the bombs went off as planned.

Brothers sought

Amrozi's brothers, Ali Imron and Ali Fauzi, were also put forward as suspects.

Police are also investigating a third brother of Amrozi, named Muchlas, thought to be a senior leader of JI.

According to intelligence documents obtained by CNN, Faiz abu Bakar Bafana, a JI suspect currently in custody in Singapore, admitted meeting Muchlas.

In a confession attributed to him, Bafana said Muchlas would take over the responsibilities of Hambali, a leading terrorist suspect in Southeast Asia, as the regional leader of JI.

All the men involved have ties to Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, the alleged spiritual leader of JI.

Ba'asyir is currently being held by Indonesian police, but has so far refused to answer any questions related to terrorism.

-- CNN Correspondent Atika Shubert contributed to this report

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