Posts made in June, 2018

Jemaah Islamiyah: The October 12, 2002 Bali Attacks and their Aftermath

Posted by on Jun 26, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Jemaah Islamiyah: The October 12, 2002 Bali Attacks and their Aftermath

Jemaah Islamiyah leaders regrouped in Bangkok with Hambali to discuss possible targets in Indonesia, including oil tankers at Dumai Port on the Riau coastline, the PT Arun natural gas facilities in Aceh operated by ExxonMobil, the Newmont gold mine in Sumbawa, and tourist nightspots in Bali. By August 2002, they settled on a bomb attack at Bali clubs frequented by western tourists and Balinese Hindus. The operation was similar to the August 2001 bombing attack on Philippines Ambassador Leonides Caday and employed many of the same people, including Mukhlas (Ali Gufron), Imam Samudra, Zulkarnaen, Amrozi, Dulmatin, Umar Patek, Azhari, Ali Imron, Mubarok and Idris. Mukhlas and Amrozi were brothers. Mukhlas provided oversight, while Imam Samudra was the hands-on supervisor. Al-Qaeda transferred funds to Hambali; Imam Samudra acquired additional money from the brazen daylight robbery of a jewelry shop in Banten, West Java. [1] The conspirators bought an old Mitsubishi minivan, filed off its identification numbers and assembled the massive bomb with more than a ton of potassium chlorate fertilizer, sulfur and aluminum powder for incendiary effect. They recruited and indoctrinated suicide bombers, Arnasan and Fer, uneducated Javanese villagers. In addition to the van bomb, Dulmatin assembled two smaller devices. One was a vest packed with sticks of dynamite weighing roughly five kilograms to be worn by Fer in a diversionary blast before Arnasan set off the vehicle bomb. The vest bomb was to be initiated by a manual trigger, but equipped with a backup timer. Another five-kilogram package of dynamite with a cell phone trigger was placed in front of the American Consulate in Denpasar as a symbolic gesture. [2] After casing nightspots at the Kuta Beach resort, the plotters chose their targets. The van bomb would be positioned on a side street outside the Sari Club. Sitting in the driver’s seat, Arnasan would trigger the van bomb after Fer’s diversionary suicide bombing inside Paddy’s Bar across the street. The operation was set for Saturday evening, October 12, at 11:00 p.m. The package bomb was placed at the U.S. Consulate and detonated just before 11:00 p.m. without casualties or serious damage. Arnasan steered the van into position. Fer dismounted and walked into the middle of the crowded Paddy’s Bar and detonated his vest at 11:07 p.m. Almost immediately after the Paddy’s blast, Arnasan set off the van bomb. The fertilizer bomb did not fully detonate, but burned intensely and set off a massive fire at the Sari Club and adjacent buildings. Not counting the bombers, the attack left 202 dead, including 152 foreigners (among them eighty-eight Australians, twenty-two British, seven Germans, five Swedish, four French, four Swiss and four Americans) and about 350 wounded. Fifty-eight buildings were damaged, nineteen cars and thirty-two motorcycles destroyed. [3] The Bali bombing was the largest and most deadly worldwide terror attack since the September 11 al-Qaeda attacks in the United States thirteen months earlier. Indonesian “experts” suggested the Kuta blast resulted from a “micro-nuclear device.” Senior officers reacted defensively to allegations the military was involved, suggesting the bombs were too complex to have involved military personnel. Former National Intelligence Coordinating Body (Bakin) Chief...

Read More

Jemaah Islamiyah: The CIA Renditions

Posted by on Jun 10, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Jemaah Islamiyah: The CIA Renditions

Militants staged aggressive anti-American protests in Jakarta after the U.S. attacked terrorist targets in Afghanistan in October 2011. Several hundred Indonesians set out to fight American forces in Afghanistan despite official travel prohibitions. Groups in Surakarta and Jakarta threatened to “sweep” for Americans and westerners, although no one was harmed. Indonesian authorities recovered a fifteen-page document in Arabic and Indonesian, entitled “Operation Jihad in Asia,” detailing plans to bomb U.S. Embassies and western interests in Jakarta, Singapore and Malaysia. The document established a connection between Jemaah Islamiyah and al-Qaeda. While Jemaah Islamiyah was independent, it had common interests and cooperative ties to bin Laden’s organization. The Singapore Internal Security Department had monitored Abu Bakar Ba’asyir and his followers for several years. In December, authorities arrested fifteen Jemaah Islamiyah members and another fifteen by mid-2002, uncovering explosives, weapons and plans to attack American service personnel, and to blow up the rail line and aqueduct between Malaysia and the city-state. Malaysia and the Philippines also arrested dozens of militants during the months after the September 11 attacks. Those held in Singapore and Malaysia were Mantiqi (Region) I members reporting to Hambali (Ridwan Nurjaman bin Isamuddin), who had gone into hiding in Bangkok. Indonesian bomb-maker Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi (“Mike the Bomber,” whose father had been a Komando Jihad member) was arrested in the Philippines on January 15. [1] Indonesian leaders were reluctant to act against domestic militants. Even though Singapore and Malaysia had issued arrest warrants for Ba’asyir, the elderly cleric remained free. During January, he quipped, “The organization [Jemaah Islamiyah] does not exist. It is only a Koran reading group.” [2] The police summoned Ba’asyir on January 24, but released him a few hours later. Reacting to criticism from Singaporean officials, Police Detective Chief Engkesman Hillep retorted, “Singapore should not worry too much about Indonesia because Indonesian security forces are fighting international terrorism in their own way.” [3] In February, the police sent a team to Singapore and Malaysia to review evidence and interview Indonesian militants in custody but still found no basis to detain Ba’asyir. National Intelligence Agency (BIN) Chief Lieutenant General A.M. Hendropriyono kept the cleric and his Ngruki associates under surveillance. [4] Vice President Hamzah Haz and others denied there were any terrorist cells in Indonesia with links to al-Qaeda or Osama bin Laden. Those denials came despite evidence provided by domestic and foreign intelligence agencies, including satellite photographs of a training camp in Central Sulawesi, abandoned after September 11, and accounts that Arab militants had trained at the camp. Indonesian investigators described the camp near Poso as a soccer field with a few modest buildings, possibly used earlier but long since abandoned. They were unable to confirm second hand reports about foreigners in the area. Although Washington cited satellite photography, details about the Poso camp apparently came from interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects. After American intelligence officers provided classified briefings about the Poso camp, authorities mounted a nationwide manhunt for the militant who ran the camp, Parlindungan Siregar. Parlindungan Siregar had been a student at the Bandung Institute of Technology when he received a government scholarship to study...

Read More