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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS -
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Jemaah Islamiah Patsy Exits Prison

Posted in the database on Wednesday, June 14th, 2006 @ 16:12:29 MST (1290 views)
by Kurt Nimmo    Another Day in the Empire  

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Obviously, the neocon and Likud infested Jerusalem Post is none too happy with the release from prison of the “reputed top leader of the al-Qaida linked terror group,” Jemaah Islamiah.

“Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, 68, had served 26 months for conspiracy in the Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, mostly young foreign tourists…. Australia and the United States, which have accused Bashir of being a key member of the Southeast Asian terror group Jema’ah Islamiyah, said they were disappointed at his release, as did Australian victims of the Bali blasts.”

Australia and the United States should be “disappointed” with the Indonesian military creation of Jemaah Islamiah, but this of course would be asking too much.

Indonesia’s former president, Abdurrahman Wahid, told the Australian last October “a key figure behind the formation of terror group Jemaah Islamiah was an Indonesian spy” and “police or military officers may have played a role in the 2002 Bali bombing,” a predictable outcome as the Indonesian military has a long and sordid relationship with the CIA, including the training of its brutal Kopassus, responsible for wanton slaughter in East Timor and assassinating West Papuan independence leaders.

“There is not a single Islamic group either in the movement or the political groups that is not controlled by (Indonesian) intelligence,” Umar Abduh, described as a “former terrorist” told SBS Dateline. “Abduh has written a book on Teungku Fauzi Hasbi, a key figure in Jemaah Islamiah (JI) who had close contact with JI operations chief Hambali and lived next door to Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir…. He says Hasbi was a secret agent for Indonesia’s military intelligence while at the same time a key player in creating JI.”

Documents cited by SBS showed the Indonesian chief of military intelligence in 1990 authorized Hasbi to undertake a “special job”.

A 1995 internal memo from the military intelligence headquarters in Jakarta included a request to use “Brother Fauzi Hasbi” to spy on Acehnese separatists in Indonesia, Malaysia and Sweden.

And a 2002 document assigned Hasbi the job of special agent for BIN, the Indonesian national intelligence agency.

Security analyst John Mempi told SBS that Hasbi, who was also known as Abu Jihad, had played a key role in JI in its early years.

“The first Jemaah Islamiah congress in Bogor was facilitated by Abu Jihad, after Abu Bakar Bashir returned from Malaysia,” Mr Mempi said.

“We can see that Abu Jihad played an important role. He was later found to be an intelligence agent. So an intelligence agent has been facilitating the radical Islamic movement.”

Not surprisingly, Hasbi met a gruesome end—he was disemboweled “in a mysterious murder in 2003 after he was exposed as a military agent and his son Lamkaruna Putra died in a plane,” a not uncommon fate for exposed intelligence operatives. No telling who murdered Hasbi, however it should be noted that dead operatives tell no tales about their government handlers or embarrassing operation details.

JI can also be traced back to the CIA-ISI effort in Afghanistan, essentially the locus of virtually all modern “al-Qaeda” centric terrorism. “A recent ICG [International Crisis Group] report entitled Jemaah Islamiyah in South East Asia: Damaged but still Dangerous estimates that more than 200 men associated with the JI network were sent to Afghanistan. In most cases, the Islamic World League paid their expenses. All of them were trained at the military camps run by the Mujaheddin faction led by Abdul Rasul Sayyaf. Sayyaf, a proponent of strict Wahhabi Islam, had extremely close links to Saudi Arabia and its logistics operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which were run by Osama bin Laden, among others,” writes Peter Symonds (The Political Origins of Jemaah Islamiyah: Behind the Bali Bombings).

Without the CIA’s dirty operations in Afghanistan, neither Jemaah Islamiyah nor Al Qaeda would have come into existence. The anti-Soviet war provided the money and the training, as well as forging the loose international network of contacts that was to characterize the future modus operandi of these organizations…. As the ICG explained: “All of JI’s top leaders and many of the men involved in JI bombings trained in Afghanistan over a ten-year period, 1985-95. The jihad in Afghanistan had a huge influence in shaping their worldview, reinforcing their commitment to jihad, and providing them with lethal skills… It is important to note that the process of sending recruits to Afghanistan began at least seven years before JI formally came into being. In many ways, the emergence of a formal organization around 1992 merely institutionalized a network that already existed.”

Indeed, a network organized and nurtured by the CIA and Pakistan’s notorious ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), and in the case JI, sustained by BIN. In addition to Indonesia, the CIA-ISI terror collaboration spread out over the globe, from the Philippines to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, France, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, the Balkans and elsewhere, where it is put to use creating the phantom of international terrorism rising from the imputed virulence of Islam.

“Bashir was found guilty of blessing the 2002 Bali attacks, but cleared of more serious terrorist charges, including heading Jem’aah Islamiyah, which Indonesian police say received funds from al-Qaida,” the Jerusalem Post continues. “No evidence has ever been presented linking him to the execution, preparation or commission of terrorist attacks, and most analysts say he played no operational role in the group’s attacks,” because operations are run by BIN and Indonesian intelligence and Bashir is little more than a patsy. Of course, when we are told JI “received funds from al-Qaida,” this translates into JI receiving funds from the CIA.

JI served its purpose. “Reminiscent of Operation Northwoods, the Bali attack served to trigger ‘a useful wave of indignation.’ They contributed to swaying Australian public opinion in favor of the US invasion of Iraq, while weakening the anti-war protest movement,” writes Michel Chossudovsky. “In the wake of the Bali attack, the Australian government ‘officially’ joined the US-led ‘war on terrorism,’” a multi-headed hydra operating on many levels but concentrating primarily on Islamic terrorism, an on-going and relentless campaign engineered to demonize Muslims, as the ludicrous events most recently in London and Canada demonstrate.

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Indonesia cleric freed after jail term

By Achmad Sukarson
Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Hardline Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir walked out of a Jakarta jail on Wednesday after serving time for links to the 2002 Bali bombings.

He planned to return immediately to an Islamic school in central Java once dubbed the "Ivy League" of militants.

Wearing his trademark white skullcap and shawl, a smiling Bashir was surrounded by supporters shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) and by media before getting into a car and being driven away.

Seen by the West as the spiritual head of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah (JI) regional militant network, Bashir was convicted of being part of a conspiracy behind the Bali bombings that killed 202 people, many of them Australian tourists.

Southeast Asian and Western authorities blame JI for the Indonesian resort island attack and other strikes in the region.

Hundreds of Bashir supporters from hardline Muslim groups were outside the jail waiting to welcome him. Scores of police were also on hand and security was tight.

Bashir's son, Rohim, punching his fist in the air with joy, told reporters: "I'm very happy right now. All things have been resolved, and he is free now".

Asked about possible police surveillance of his father, he said: "I don't care about it. If they want to watch, go ahead".

There had been little international comment on Bashir's scheduled release. But Australian and U.S. officials have in the past criticised Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, for giving him a relatively light sentence and for subsequently reducing the term.

Analysts say militants could use Bashir's release to revive Jemaah Islamiah, which police say has become decentralised, with factions splitting off and operating independently.

"The perception among security forces is that the release may help consolidation moves as they (JI) have been torn after the death of their leader," said University of Indonesia security analyst Andi Widjajanto.

He was referring to alleged terrorism mastermind Azahari bin Husin who was killed in a police raid late last year.

Bashir was arrested several days after the 2002 Bali blasts for investigations on separate crimes and later spent 18 months in jail for minor immigration offences after treason charges against him were dismissed or overturned in court.

Police rearrested him for suspected links with the Bali attacks as he was leaving prison in April 2004. A court last year sentenced him to 30 months in jail after finding him guilty of being part of a conspiracy behind the bombings.

BACK TO SCHOOL

The 67-year-old cleric, who has called al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden a true Islamic warrior, denies any wrongdoing. He insists Jemaah Islamiah does not exist, and Indonesian courts have dismissed charges that he led the network.

His walk to freedom comes after a reduction in his sentence from remissions he received on Indonesia's 60th independence celebration last August and because of time served in detention.

Bashir plans to take a 12-hour overland ride to the Al-Mukmin Islamic school he co-founded near the city of Solo, around 480 km (300 miles) from Jakarta, where a low-key homecoming awaits him.

"We have been told by him that we don't need to be festive. If we celebrate, it will poke some sick-hearted people and they could become sicker," principal Farid Ma'ruf told Reuters by telephone from the Central Java school.

Several graduates of the school, popularly known as "Ngruki" after the neighbourhood where it is located, are in prison for involvement in terrorism. The Brussels-based International Crisis Group has branded the school the "Ivy League" of militants.

However, Indonesian authorities have reviewed its curriculum and say they found no inclination towards terrorism.

Indonesian officials say that despite the capture of nearly 300 people suspected of violating anti-terrorism laws, violent militants remain a serious threat in Indonesia, a vast archipelago with 17,000 islands and 220 million people.

(Additional reporting by Telly Nathalia)

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Read from Looking Glass News

How Convenient: Bali Bomb Suspect Explodes
http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=3418

Bali II: Another Elusive Terror Mastermind on the Loose
http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=2770

Bali Bombed Again, Intel Op Jemaah Islamiah Suspected
http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=2758


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