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Report: Bin Laden linked to Bali bombing LONDON - Terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden has been linked to last week's Bali nightclub bombing, which killed at least 183 people and injured more than 300 mostly foreign tourists, following a testimony by one of his senior lieutenants. According to a confession made by Omar Faruq, described as Bin Laden's envoy in Southeast Asia, who was arrested in Indonesia in June and handed over to the CIA in Afghanistan, a series of plots were hatched to kill westerners, Indonesians and Israelis.
Faruq claimed to American interrogators that Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah, the Islamist group suspected of the Bali bombing, received $74,000 from the Bin Laden account. Ba'asyir sent his assistant to buy explosives - illegally sold by the Indonesian army - which were then distributed to Islamist groups there. The plots included random shooting of Israelis and Americans at hotels across Indonesia. This was abandoned because it would only have 'minimal impact,' media reports said.
Other plans included hijacking a civilian aircraft and flying it into an Israeli target, a plot in May 2002 to blow up American naval vessels during US-Indonesian military naval exercises, for which Faruq was trained in planting underwater explosives and a chemical attack using cyanide to be sprayed from perfume bottles. The plans were devised by Faruq and Indonesian co-conspirators after al-Qaeda sent him to Southeast Asia in the 1990s to establish links with groups fighting for a separate Islamic state. He tried to enrol in pilot training for a suicide attack, before joining the Khalden terror training camp in Afghanistan.
According to the Sunday Times on Sunday, Faruq has told CIA interrogators that "thousands of dollars from an account controlled by bin Laden was used to buy explosives by the Islamist group suspected of the attack." A confidential American intelligence document, seen by The Sunday Times, reveals that $74,000 was transferred from an account in the name of Sheikh Abu Abdullah Emirati, one of bin Laden's pseudonyms, to pay for three tons of explosives bought from the Indonesian military.
Nearly 200 people died in the attack on the Sari nightclub last weekend, including more than 30 Britons. The revelation adds weight to the claim that the Bali bombing was part of co-ordinated worldwide attacks on western interests and not the work of a disaffected local group. It raises new questions about why the British and Australian governments, to which the intelligence was made available by the CIA, did not respond more quickly to the threat by bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist group.
According to the report, in 2000 Faruq escorted Ayman al- Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda second-in-command, on a trip to Indonesia to forge closer ties with rebel groups trying to drive out Christians from the mainly Muslim Indonesian archipelago. Faruq, a Kuwaiti, describes two attempts to kill Megawati Sukarnoputri, the Indonesian President and daughter of Sukarno, the nation's founding father.


Link to related event Related event:
Bali terrorist attack


Posted in Terrorism @ 20 October 2002 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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