Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bali Bombed Again, Intel Op Jemaah Islamiah Suspected

Once again, an explosion has ripped through the Indonesian resort island of Bali, killing at least 23 people. “We think it’s almost certainly a terrorist attack, I doubt that there’s any other explanation for it, you could assume it’s an attack by an organization like Jemiaah Islamiah speaking from experience, but of course at this stage no one’s claimed responsibility for the attack and we have no evidence,” Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer told ABC News. It was almost exactly three years ago (October 14, 2002) “terrorists, allegedly linked to Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, blew up a nightclub in the resort town of Kuta Beach in Bali killing 202 people and wounding another 100,” as the Crime LibraryCNN reported on November 8, 2002, an al-Qaeda message posted on the al-Neda website claimed responsibility for targeting “nightclubs and whorehouses in Indonesia.” It was claimed a local “terrorist” organization, Jemaah Islamiyah, supposedly linked to al-Qaeda, planted the bombs. summarizes. As

“On 30 April 2003, the first charges related to the Bali bombings were made against Amrozi bin Haji Nurhasyim, known as Amrozi, for allegedly buying the explosives and the van used in the bombings,” notes Wikipedia.

On 8 August he was found guilty and sentenced to death. Another participant in the bombing, Imam Samudra, was sentenced to death on 10 September. Amrozi’s brother, Ali Imron, who had expressed remorse for his part in the bombing, was sentenced to life imprisonment on 18 September. A fourth accused, Mukhlas, was sentenced to death on 1 October. All those convicted have said they will appeal, and none of the death sentences have yet been carried out…. On 15 August Riduan Isamuddin, generally known as Hambali, described as the operational chief of Jemaah Islamiyah and as al-Qaeda’s “point man” in Southeast Asia, was arrested in Bangkok. He is in American custody in an undisclosed location, and has not been charged in relation to the Bali bombing or any other crime. It was reported that the United States is reluctant to hand Hambali over to Indonesian authorities in light of the lenient sentence given to Abu Bakar Bashir [an Islamic cleric who is the alleged spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah].

It is interesting to note another “al-Qaeda” functionary, Omar al-Faruq, who fingered Bashir and Jemaah Islamiah for a bombing outside the largest mosque in Jakarta in 1999, also disappeared. “Former State Intelligence Coordinating Board (BAKIN) chief A.C. Manulang has said that Kuwaiti citizen Omar Al-Faruq, a terrorist suspect who was arrested in Bogor, West Java, on June 5, 2002 and handed over to the US three days later, is a CIA-recruited agent,” Tempo Interactive reported on September 19, 2002. ‘When Al Faruq finished his assignments, the CIA created a scenario that he had been arrested,’ Manulang told Tempo News Room…. ‘Anti-Islam intelligence agencies committed the bombings in Indonesia. They have been trained for this and they are very organized,” said Manulang.”

It is no secret the Indonesia military has documented links to Islamic terrorist groups, although this is often explained away as simply a few bad apples or the unfortunate connections of “corrupt elements within the military,” as the Sydney Morning Herald put it. Indonesia’s ruthless Army Special Forces, Kopassus, was trained by the CIA (and U.S. Special Operations Forces in psychological operations) and is known for its covert ops (for instance, “Ninja” assassinations; see Peter Dale Scott, Murder in Java: Psychological warfare and the New York Times). Kopassus was also responsible for the murder of over 200,000 people on the island of East Timor.

Moreover, Indonesian intelligence has links to Jemaah Islamiah and other terrorist groups. “The links between JI [Jemaah Islamiah] and Indonesia’s Intelligence Agency (BIN) are acknowledged by the International Crisis Group (ICG),” writes Michel Chossudovsky, who quotes the ICG as follows: “This link [of JI to the BIN] needs to be explored more fully: it does not necessarily mean that military intelligence was working with JI, but it does raise a question about the extent to which it knew or could have found out more about JI than it has acknowledged,” an assertion to which Chossudovsky responds: “The ICG, however, fails to mention that Indonesia’s intelligence apparatus has for more than 30 years been controlled by the CIA.” Suspicion is also cast on General A. M. Hendropriyono, the head of Indonesian intelligence. “The agency and its director, Gen. A. M. Hendropriyono, are well regarded by the United States and other governments,” Raymond Bonner and Jane Perlez write for the New York Times (25 November 2002). “But there are still senior intelligence officers here who believe that the C.I.A. was behind the [first Bali] bombing.”

Of course, none of these suspicious connections will be investigated by the corporate media now that a second Bali bombing has occurred. Instead, attention will turn in a predictable and well-scripted direction toward a cast of usual suspects—”al-Qaeda in Indonesia,” Jemaah Islamiah, or a new terrorist formation—as the point here is to keep up the strategy of tension and barrage the public with one nightmarish terrorist incident after another, usually aimed at innocents, non-combatants, tourists, and women and children in Iraq, etc., thus sending a message repeatedly and incessantly: Islam has declared an immoral and psychotic war against the people of America and much of the western world. Our response should be, as Ann Coulter so famously (and disgustingly) explained, to “bomb them and convert them to Christianity,” or at least wreck their societies and culture.

It is too early to speculate on the motivations of the latest Bali bombing. But we can rest assured it will be the same story—crazed Muslims declaring war on infidels wherever they find them and for the usual murderous religious reasons—and al-Qaeda will once again post a video or audio message on the internet. No doubt this claim for responsibility will come over the next few days and the latest outrage and carnage will be laid at the feet of “al-Qaeda,” the database of Mujahedeen organized by the CIA and used in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Chechnya, and elsewhere. For the neocons, “al-Qaeda” is the best thing since the invention of sliced bread.

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