Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bali Bombed Again

Intel Op Jemaah Islamiah Suspected

By Kurt Nimmo
October 1st, 2005

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 Library summarizes. As CNN 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.
“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.


Bali II: Another Elusive Terror Mastermind on the Loose

By Kurt Nimmo
October 2nd, 2005

Azahari bin Husin, said to be the explosives “mastermind” behind the Bali bombings this past weekend, has a very interesting background. He is not your average rural madrassa religious fanatic or “al-Qaeda” goat herder of the sort captured in Afghanistan. Husin is a “former university lecturer and gifted mathematician,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “He returned home to obtain his degree, and at the end of the 1980s went to Reading University in England, where he impressed his tutors so much they persuaded him to stay on to complete a doctorate.” Husin’s future was promising as a lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia at Skudai in the southern state of Johor—and then he suddenly experienced a fanatical religious “epiphany” under the sway of the late Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Bashir, followers of the Darul Islam ideology and co-founders of Pondok Ngruki and eventually Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic separatist movement supposedly dedicated to the establishment of a fundamentalist Islamic state in Southeast Asia.
I say “supposedly” because there are doubts (never mentioned in the western corporate media) about the legitimacy of Jemaah Islamiyah, as I noted in an earlier blog entry (subsequently posted on the Muslim Public Affairs Committee website).
According to Sayed Abdullah, who operates an intelligence services firm in Indonesia, “It is clear that the CIA and the Mossad have infiltrated such organizations [Jemaah Islamiyah, Hamas, and Hezbollah].” Abdullah told Kazi Mahmood of IslamOnline the he believe it “is obvious the CIA and the Mossad, assisted by the Australian Special Action Police (SAP) and the M15 of England, are all working towards undermining Muslim organizations in an attempt to weaken the Muslims globally.”
Abdullah believes the Bali bombing of 2002 was “an operation clearly financed and assisted by the CIA and Mossad, made use of Muslims to carry out the final act…. Those Muslims were not innocent since they took the bait handed over by the CIA and the Mossad to bomb Bali and to avenge against the U.S. war on the Muslims in Afghanistan.”
The Indonesian expert argued said that “to achieve this, the CIA used one of its operatives, Omar Al-Faruq, an Arab living in the U.S. who speaks Arabic and knows a little about Islam and who was sent to Indonesia to infiltrate the so called terrorist groups.
He said that Al-Faruq initially infiltrated the Laskar Jihad, a group of Muslim volunteers fighting for the safeguard of the Maluku’s during the conflict of the Island.
When the Laskar was winded down by its leader, Al-Faruq was sent to join the Mujahideen Council of Indonesia (MMI), created and headed by jailed Indonesian Islamic leader Abu Bakar Basyir, added Sayed Abdullah.
“After he failed to be a member of the MMI and failed to get to Basyir, he decided to work on the followers of Basyir. It is then that he came into contact with some of the Bali bombers and this is how the whole Bali operation was conducted,” according to the Indonesian intelligence expert.
He claimed that Australia, the U.S. and even Taiwan knew that Bali was to be bombed but they did nothing about it.
As noted in yesterday’s entry here, Omar Al-Faruq “was assigned to infiltrate Islamic radical groups and recruit local agents within these groups” for the CIA. “After the CIA obtained complete data on this matter, they then made Al-Faruq disappear. It’s common in intelligence world,” former Indonesian State Intelligence Coordinating Board chief A.C. Manulang told Tempo Interactive in September, 2002.
Azahari bin Husin’s British connection should be examined, especially in light of the revelations that Haroon Rashid Aswat, the so-called mastermind of the 7/7 London Bombings, worked for British Intelligence, as noted by former Justice Department prosecutor and terror expert John Loftus on, of all places, Fox News. Steve Watson wrote for Infowars on August 2:
John Loftus went on to spell out that British Intelligence and the US dept of Justice had protected Haroon Rashid Aswat: “Back in 1999 he came to America. The Justice Department wanted to indict him in Seattle because him and his buddy were trying to set up a terrorist training school in Oregon… we’ve just learned that the headquarters of the US Justice Department ordered the Seattle prosecutors not to touch Aswat… apparently Aswat was working for British intelligence…”
This information is startling and again highlights how Al Qaeda exists as an organized body only where the intelligence services have created, funded and employed it. Loftus points out that several weeks before the London Bombings, Aswat was again located by the South African Intel agency but again allowed to slip away, this time to London:
“He was a British intelligence plant. So all of a sudden he disappears. He’s in South Africa. We think he’s dead; we don’t know he’s down there. Last month the South African Secret Service come across the guy. He’s alive… the Brits know that the CIA wants to get a hold of Haroon. So what happens? He takes off again, goes right to London. He isn’t arrested when he lands, he isn’t arrested when he leaves… He’s on the watch list. The only reason he could get away with that was if he was working for British intelligence. He was a wanted man.”
In similar fashion, Azahari bin Husin managed to elude capture in late 2003. Indonesian security officials “say Indonesian police were close to catching him in late 2003 in a swoop on Pekanbaru, capital of Sumatra’s Riau province, and opposite Singapore,” explains the Sydney Morning Herald. “Azahari was there, but slipped through the dragnet unrecognized.” He was able to do this because he is “[l]ong-haired and lean-faced” and bears “little resemblance to the one photograph police have of him.” Obviously, Husin shares the same mercurial nature as Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
It would seem the Brits and the United States have greasy fingers when it comes to capturing potentially dangerous Islamic fanatics and al-Qaeda operatives. In fact, they are simply recycling trusted intel operatives (or their painstakingly engineered reputations).
Of course, considering “al-Qaeda” (appropriately earning the moniker “al-CIA-duh”) is a documented CIA-ISI-MI6 asset, the “escape” of key “terrorists” such as Azahari bin Husin is not only logical, it is mandatory if state-sponsored terrorism is to be used as a form of psychological warfare against unwitting populations in need of manipulation (since most normal people recoil from the prospect of forever war and need to be reminded of the specter of terrorism). Since we have no evidence Bin Husin actually exists—he was last seen prior to the first Bali bombing—the corporate media, regurgitating spook generated mythologies, is now free to turn the former mathematician and university lecturer into a world-class terrorist on par with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Like Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein, Azahari bin Husin lives on as an effective bogeyman, an effective (if illusive) villain in a constellation of Islamic villains, an evasive apparition one step ahead of the law and thus forever a possible threat—or at least a threat until our rulers decide they no longer have use for him (as they apparently no longer have use for Osama bin Laden now that nine eleven is established folklore and the irrefutable foundation of the supposed war on terrorism).


Foreknowledge of the Bali Terror Bombings?
According to Indonesian & Australian reports

by Michel Chossudovsky

October 2, 2005

Queensland's Premier Peter Beattie couldn't resist a joke. He leaned towards the microphone and said:

"We might announce a coup. Men and women of Australia...". (Canberra Summit Press Conference, 27 September 2005).

The October 1st Bali bombing occurred a few days after a special meeting of The Council of Australian Governments in Canberra, during which the State premiers agreed to the adoption of far-reaching antiterrorist measures. The day following the Canberra Summit, the Australian media warned, based on reliable sources, that a terrorist attack was looming.

Two distinct sources, Indonesia late August and Australia, late September, point to an "imminent" terror attack.

1. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono warns that terrorist attacks "may happen in September or October"

In late August, the President of Indonesia warned in no uncertain terms that JI was preparing an attack:

"According to an AP report of 29 August; President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono "had ordered increased surveillance. 'We know the terrorists cells are still active, they are still hiding, recruiting, networking, trying to find new funding and even planning ... for another strike,' he said. 'Last night, I instructed the security minister, the head of the intelligence agency and the police chief to conduct more active operations into the detection and prevention (of the) act of terrorism that may happen this year ... in the months of September and October.'" (ABC Australia 29 August 2005, italics added)

A related report published by the Indonesian newspaper Banjarmasin Post's website on 2 September refers explicitly to Jemaah Islamiyah's "Moneyman" Noordin Mohamed Top, prime suspect in the October 1 Bali bomb attack:

"Noordin M. Top, the fugitive for several bombings in Indonesia has apparently been staying at the home of one of his associates in Yogyakarta. Moh Ridwan, the Head of Wonogiri village, Jatirejo, Yogyakarta, told the press this on Thursday (1 September).

According to him, around the end of July 2005, Noordin arrived at the home of his friend, Joko Tri Hermanto, to take part in Shalat Isya [evening prayers]. Recently Joko was arrested by members of the Police Headquarters Detachment 88 Anti-Terrorist Unit. During the arrest officials found ten kilograms of TNT 500 rounds of 38 calibre ammunition. During questioning Joko Tri admitted that Noordin had stayed at his home....

Ridwan said that Noordin and Dr Azahari were the Police Headquarters' number one fugitives, but they were not in the house when it was raided. [passage omitted]

Separately, intelligence expert Dynno Chressbon, viewed that there were indications that there would be another bigger terrorist act. Besides finding something looking like a bomb [in a hotel in Kuta, Bali, on 31 August], around ten days ago, one of the Al-Qa'idah spokesmen, who made the statement on the Al-Jazeera TV station warning of the attack on the WTC [World Trade Centre], said that Al-Qa'idah would carry out an attack on one of the tourist cities in the Asia region.

"I predict that this will possibly be in Thailand and in Indonesia, namely Bali. Therefore, if 10 kg of TNT were found in Yogyakarta, it could be to supply something in Bali, Ambon and other areas."(Banjarmasin Post website, in Indonesian, 2 September 2005, translation BBC Monitoring, italics added))

2. Australian Media: "Terror Attack Looming"

Three days before the Bali bombings of October 1st, the Australian press published several reports pointing to an imminent terrorist. These reports were based on statements of the Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Mr. Aldo Borgu:

"the Indonesia-based terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah could try to carry out another major attack soon and Australians could again be its target, an advisory group has warned."

Australian Strategic Policy Institute terrorism specialist Aldo Borgu said JI had tried to carry out a major attack every 12 months and another could be due soon.

The organization was behind the Bali nightclub bombings in 2002, the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2003 and the 2004 Australian embassy bombing.

Mr. Borgu said that despite the damage JI had suffered it was still capable of carrying out annual attacks.

"There is still a possibility that one might be in the offing some time soon," he said.

The institute's view contradicts that of former foreign minister Gareth Evans, who now heads the International Crisis Group. Mr. Evans said this week that JI had been smashed and no longer posed a serious threat. (Terror attack looming: alert, The Age (Australia), 29 September 2005 italics added))

Mr. Aldo Borgu has close links to Australia's intelligence and Homeland Security community. He was previously senior adviser in the Australian Ministry of Defense and strategic analyst for Australia's Defense Intelligence Organisation (DIO) Reproduced at the foot of this article is the transcript of the Australian ABC TV interview with Mr. Aldo Borgu

The Canberra Counter-Terrorism Summit

The October 1st Bali bombing occurred barely a few days after the holding of a special meeting of The Council of Australian Governments in Canberra, during which the State premiers agreed to the adoption of far-reaching antiterrorist measures.

Leader of the federal opposition Labor Party, Kim Beazley, made his pitch on Sunday, suggesting that state police should be given the power to lock down entire suburbs if they suspect or fear a terrorist act.

The federal attorney-general, Philip Ruddock, has been dismissive of the plan. The president of the Australian Council of Civil Liberties, Terry O'Gorman, is alarmed, saying federal, state and territory leaders appear to be attempting to outbid each other. He says he is worried basic human rights will be abandoned. "In essence they're getting out there thumping their chests and say look at us, look what we're proposing," he said.

But premier of the state of New South Wales, Morris Iemma, says the alarm is misplaced. "I believe it is possible for us to be tough on terror and at the same time protect people's rights." he said. All five premiers say they are confident of a good outcome at Sunday's meeting. (ABC Radio Report, 26 September 2005)

On the 27th of September, at the conclusion of the Summit, Howard secured the unanimous agreement of all six premiers and two chief ministers "to the biggest changes to Australia's counter-terrorism regime since 2001":

Although state and territory leaders at the Council of Australian Government meeting won several concessions from the Prime Minister -- notably the 10-year sunset clause on new legislation including police powers authorizing preventative detention for up to 14 days -- in the end Howard achieved everything of substance he wanted.

"The laws that we have agreed to today are in fact draconian laws but they are necessary laws to protect Australians," admitted Queensland Premier Peter Beattie after the states signed up. "If it wasn't for the threat of terrorism, we would never agree to such laws as we have here." (The Weekend Australia, 1 Oct 2005)

"The deal was reached after Prime Minister John Howard agreed to a 10-year sunset clause and a review of the legislation after five years. The laws includes allowing police to hold terrorism suspects for up to 14 days and broad stop, search and question powers. There will also be greater use of security cameras and Australians could be fined if they leave their baggage unattended at airports. After the meeting, Mr. Howard said they are unusual laws for unusual times.

"If we weren't living in a terrorist environment none of us would be here," he said.

"They're not the sort of things any of us, whether we are liberal or labor, would want to be proposing in an environment where we didn't face this shadowy elusive and lethal enemy." (ABC Asia Pacific Report, 28 Sept 2005)

The significance of the Canberra summit was reviewed in an incisive article by Michael Head, published in late August by the World Socialist Web Site, shortly after the announcement by Prime Minister Howard of the holding of the Canberra Summit:

Over the past five years, the Howard government has, with Labor’s parliamentary and political support, already used the “war on terror” as a pretext to introduce a barrage of laws, each granting unprecedented powers to the federal government and its security agencies.

“Terrorism” has been made punishable by life imprisonment and defined so widely that it covers many traditional forms of political dissent. Cabinet has been given the power to outlaw organisations that it labels terrorist. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has been authorised to secretly detain and interrogate people without trial, even if they are not suspected of links to terrorism. Terrorist trials can be held behind closed doors. The military can be called-out to combat “domestic violence,” that is, civil unrest.

Now further inroads into democratic rights are being prepared. Howard has nominated new items for the summit agenda: counter-terrorism legal frameworks, preventing advocacy of terrorism, surface transport security, identity security and “enhancing community understanding of and engagement in the national counter-terrorism arrangements”.

Under the heading of “legal frameworks,” Howard and his Attorney-General Philip Ruddock have foreshadowed an array of moves. These include extending to possibly three months the time that anyone can be detained for interrogation by ASIO. Such detentions are currently limited to one week, with ASIO able to apply for extensions. Those detained are prohibited from notifying anyone, except for a lawyer. If the detention period were extended, it would mean that people could disappear into ASIO’s custody for up to three months without trace.

Ruddock has also ordered a review of his powers to ban organisations as “terrorist.” This follows an ASIO recommendation that he did not have grounds to outlaw Hizb ut-Tahrir, a fundamentalist group that advocates the non-violent establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, throughout the Middle East. The proscription power is currently limited to organisations that the attorney-general is “satisfied on reasonable grounds” are “directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not the terrorist act has occurred or will occur)”. (Michael Head,, 27 August 2005).

In an interview on Oct 2nd, Prime Minister Howard suggested that:

"there is still the risk of a domestic attack in this country and we have to prepare for it and we have to understand, based on the London experience that you can have an attack from within in the most unsuspecting of circumstances"

The October 1st Bali bombings have served to dispel the concerns by human rights organizations regarding the ongoing repeal of the Rule of Law in Australia. While the new counter-terrorism legislation is yet to be formally enacted, it is supported by both the government and the opposition Labor party.

Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), He is the author of a America's "War on Terrorism", Global Research, September 2005.


ANNEX: News Reports

Report says JI continues to be a significant threat

ABC Net. Australian TV,

The World Today - Wednesday, 28 September , 2005 12:14:00 Reporter: Tanya Nolan


TANYA NOLAN: It was only last year that the Federal Government, in its White Paper on Terrorism, identified Jemaah Islamiyah as the principal terrorist threat to Australia.Former foreign minister Gareth Evans was yesterday declaring that JI was all but dead. But a new report out today says that as the largest and most coordinated terrorist group in South East Asia, JI continues to be a significant threat, and regards Australians as legitimate targets.

And the report released by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, "Local Jihad: Radical Islam and Terrorism in Indonesia", concludes that Australia lacks a coherent long-term strategy to combat the threat posed by Jihadist terrorism.

Aldo Borgu is co-author of the report and Program Director of Operations and Capability at the Institute, and he's been a senior adviser to the Minister for Defence, and a strategic analyst in the Defence Intelligence Organisation.

Aldo Borgu joins me from our Canberra studios.

Aldo Borgu, thank you for your time.

Firstly, your report is very timely for a number of reasons, namely in the context of the new raft of terrorism laws that was agreed to yesterday.

Now, the Prime Minister himself acknowledges these laws are unusual. Peter Beattie calls them draconian even, but given that JI has been identified as the principal terrorist threat to both Australia and the region, will they be effective?

ALDO BORGU: Well they may well be effective. Certainly you can't look at those sorts of laws having an effect on JI, because the primary terrorist threat that JI poses to Australia isn't actually within Australia, it's actually within the region.

They've certainly undertaken a number of attacks against Australia within Indonesia. They've still got aspects of their groups operating within the Philippines. So I probably wouldn't see the domestic laws applicable to them, but obviously we've got to look at a much wider threat as well.

TANYA NOLAN: Should we be alarmed about impinging further on civil liberties, or more concerned about the terrorist threat?

ALDO BORGU: Well it obviously depends on your perception of the threat. You know, we've obviously got to be at the point where we don't allow terrorism to define our daily lives and the way that we conduct our lives.

The bottom line is that with these new laws, I mean, they're certainly not as draconian as say the British or the United States laws through the Patriot Act that they've put together, but we've got to bear in mind that the laws themselves will only affect a very small proportion of the Australian population.

Most Australians will live their lives without even knowing that the laws exist.

The problems that you do come up against, however, is how the security agencies actually apply those laws to the other one per cent or so of the people. And how those laws are implemented, because we could actually find that we end up feeding the threat as much as we are combating it.

TANYA NOLAN: Now there are reports today that ASIO has identified up to 800 Muslim extremists living in Australia, that would appear to sharply raise the spectre of a home grown terrorist attack, though, wouldn't it?

ALDO BORGU: Based on that information, yes. Obviously the Government's saying that you know, the number's highly speculative.

It depends as well though on what your definition of an extremist is. An extremist can be a person that just basically has, you know, an extreme ideology, without necessarily wanting to conduct acts of violence.

I think one of the things that you're probably having at the moment is that the definition of an extremist has been widened after the July 7 bombings in London.

You know, we had numbers then of 50 to 60 to 70 people that we were keeping an eye on. Obviously we've actually defined a wider definition of what an extremist and what a potential terrorist might be.

TANYA NOLAN: Well in your report today, you urged governments to go back one step and redefine the starting point for a counter-terrorism strategy by providing exactly that, a clear definition of what exactly we're fighting – the tactic of terrorism or the ideology of radical Islam.

What's the danger in not doing that?

ALDO BORGU: Well, certainly the major danger is that unless you clearly define or understand what you're fighting you might develop the wrong strategies.

A case in point is that as part of waging an ideological conflict, a battle of ideas to stop future generations of terrorists from arising entails liaison involvement with the Muslim community.

Now, one of the ways that you can actually combat terrorists is actually through engaging with the fundamentalist aspects of the Islamic community, sort of the more extreme, but who don't necessarily believe in violence.

However, the problem is, is if you view radical Islam as the enemy, then you're far less likely to actually engage with those more radical elements to try to combat the actual threat of physical violence and terrorism.

TANYA NOLAN: So what do you see as the principal threat to Australia? Is it the ideology of radical Islam, or is it terrorism?

ALDO BORGU: I think we're more concerned with the actual tactic of terrorism. If you look at a lot of the Government's statements to date, or certainly in the past, they've been more concerned with the actual use of terrorism against Australia and Australian interests.

But lately you've been getting a few more elements in ministerial speeches and some documents that point to that we're concerned about "extremism", whatever that might actually be defined as, and that we're actually following a lot of the concerns that the United States has, which is far more concerned with the ideology than with the tactic.

So that's one of the reasons why we think the Government just needs to be clear in its own mind, let alone in terms of how it actually explains these policies to the Australian public.

TANYA NOLAN: And you argue that Australia's involvement in the global war on terror can actually distort that clarification of what it is we're fighting – that the war on terror might not be applicable to the primary terrorist threat, which is JI.

ALDO BORGU: Well certainly I don't see the campaign against terrorism, against JI in Indonesia as being part of the US global war on terror, and I think that's one of the reasons why we've been more successful in combating JI than say we have against combating al Qaeda more globally, precisely because the US isn't involved.

It's not directly involved in Indonesia, from both a perception or a reality point of view, because in some cases, as we've seen in Iraq, that actually ends up feeding the threat more than anything else and I think we have to give the Indonesian Government a lot more credit and patience in terms of how it's actually been dealing with the threat, because it's been more successful than a lot of other countries have.

TANYA NOLAN: And you say that this terrorism threat can't be separated from the future stability of the region, and that even the fight in combating JI can't actually be fought from Australia or by Australia.

ALDO BORGU: Certainly Australia can't defeat JI as a group. The only country that can do that is Indonesia, and the only government that can do that is the Indonesian Government.

One of the concerns I think we have is that with a rising factionalism with JI, we may well see the group focussing more on internal instability and communal conflict within Indonesia, and in many respects that's a greater threat to Australia's national interests than directly attack…targeting Australian citizens and individuals?

TANYA NOLAN: Haven't we been doing a lot though, to help Indonesia develop its intelligence and police capabilities?

ALDO BORGU: We have. Government's sort of done a number of measures – setting up a law enforcement centre in Jakarta, a sort of jointly funded by us. We've done a lot of work, obviously, in the aftermath of the Bali bombings with forensics, helping them to track down, jail and convict a number of the bombers, but there's always more that can be done.

And certainly one of the challenges is to look into the future in terms of the future types of terrorist threats, particularly given the fact that Indonesia's likely to face a more diverse range of threats and new groups that arise over the years, particularly as JI decreases its capabilities and they're the sorts of things that we need to do, have an evolving strategy in order to deal with an evolving threat.

TANYA NOLAN: Well one of the more controversial recommendations that you make is this idea of red teaming to be introduced into terrorism analysis, that we need analysts who start to think like terrorists so that they can challenge the assumption of the policy makers.

That would take a great deal of political courage, one would imagine?

ALDO BORGU: It would, because obviously part of the problem with dealing with terrorism is a lot of it is couched in politics and emotion. And I mean we need to deal with the threat and the issue in a hard, analytical manner.

Red teaming's been used, certainly was used in the Cold War by the United States and other countries, where you'd get groups of analysts who were trained to think like Russians, like Soviets in terms of that they'd actually provide an enemy you could war game an exercise against, and they'd also provide input into the development of policy.

Part of the big problem that we're facing at the moment, and you hear it time and time again from analysts, commentators and policy makers is, they can't understand why people would blow themselves up, why they would take innocent lives like this. Well, part of the problem is we've got to understand them, we've got to make the effort.

Understanding them doesn't mean that you sympathise with them, but if you really want to combat the threat, then understanding them is actually the first pre-condition to doing so.

TANYA NOLAN: Aldo Borgu, we could talk forever, but we'll have to leave it there. Thank you very much for your time today.

Aldo Borgu is from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and co-author of the report Local Jihad: Radical Islam and Terrorism in Indonesia.

Copyright ABC Australia 2005


Terror expert warns of JI attack
By Max Blenkin

The Courier Mail, Australia

28 Sept. 20005

THE Indonesian terror group behind the Bali bombing could be planning another attack soon, an Australian terror expert said today.

Jemaah Islamiah (JI) appeared to be undergoing a split but its hardline elements remained dangerous, Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) program director Aldo Borgu said.

JI had been hard hit in the post-Bali bombing crackdown but it could still carry out terror attacks, he said.

"But, importantly, it's still got the capability ... to undertake annual attacks," he said.

"There is still a possibility that one might be in the offing some time soon."

The al-Qaeda-linked JI bombed two Kuta nightclubs in October 2002 killing 202 people, including 88 Australians.

It was also behind the Jakarta Marriott Hotel attack in August 2003 which killed 11 people, and the Australian embassy attack in September last year which also killed 11 people.

The dates indicate an operational cycle of about 12 months.

In an ASPI report on terrorism in Indonesia, Mr Borgu and Australian National University Indonesia expert Greg Fealy noted that JI, founded in 1993, was South-East Asia's largest and most sophisticated terror network.

But evidence was emerging of a internal split between hardline elements who favoured mass casualty attacks and the central leadership who favoured a return to the original vision of achieving an Islamic state by more gradual means.

Should JI's non-bombers emerge on top, they would probably return to their 25- to 30-year plan for an Islamic state using preaching, education and military training to defend against attacks from infidel forces, Dr Fealy said.

"However, there is a risk here. Once you give people military training in how to make bombs and do assassinations, they may not be patient enough to wait for the realisation of your 30-year plan," he said.

"They may want to go out and do something next month. They may well be very angry and alienated people.

"JI is becoming less of a lethal threat. The threat is now in other kinds of networks that the bombers have moved to. They are recruiting from groups who have been closely involved in the Muslim-Christian conflicts in places like Maluku and Central Sulawesi."

Dr Fealy said this would mean more scattered terror networks.

"They (security organisations) have to be open to the possibility that people they've never heard of before can in a very short space of time be recruited to an operation and become the foot soldiers in a major terrorism attack," he said.

Mr Borgu said future JI operations could have more to do with sectarian and communal conflict and that could more directly threaten Indonesian national stability.

"One of the things that has characterised JI over the last five years is that it hasn't directly attacked the Indonesian state," he said.

"If that does change, in some respects it could actually be a greater challenge to Australia's interests that directly targeting individual Australian citizens."

Copyright The Courier Mail, Australia, 2005


Australian Associated Press

September 27, 2005, Tuesday

PM Howard scores a coup

By Paul Osborne

While the premiers waited for the prime minister to arrive for a press conference after their counter- terrorism summit in Canberra, Queensland's Peter Beattie couldn't resist a joke.

He leaned towards the microphone and said: "We might announce a coup. Men and women of Australia...".

But it is Prime Minister John Howard who has scored a political coup after convincing the states and territories to back his tough new anti-terrorism measures.

The only concessions Mr Howard made was allowing a review of the laws within five years and putting a 10-year use-by date on them.

After just two and a half hours, which included a security briefing by the nation's spy chiefs, the premiers and Mr Howard emerged from the terror summit amid much back-slapping and congratulations.

There was no sign of the traditional slugfest or walkouts which often mark these gatherings.

It must have been hard to resist putting Australia's toughest anti-terrorism powers in place after a briefing from ASIO chief Paul O'Sullivan and Office of National Assessments head Peter Varghese.

ACT chief minister Jon Stanhope who, before the summit, spoke out the strongest of any of the leaders about civil liberties concerns, was obviously convinced by details of the potential threats in Australia.

Asked how decisive the words of the two spy chiefs were, Mr Stanhope said: "They were significant ... there are people of enormous concern (in Australia)."

Mr Howard has successfully marginalised federal Labor by harnessing the goodwill and support of the state ALP leaders.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, whose personal approval and party support fell sharply in polling released today, has been painted into a corner.

To oppose such reforms in an atmosphere charged with fear over secretive cells plotting suicide bombings would be politically naive.

Mr Beazley's options are to back the changes or outbid them, which runs its own risk, with some in the party concerned about the impact tougher laws have on civil liberties.

But even the government is not immune to a backlash.

The sight of more blue uniforms in airports, security cameras in train stations, fines for leaving bags unattended and being stopped and questioned at anti-war rallies could lead to concerns about the country turning into a police state.

But a terror attack on Australian soil could change all that.

Copyright AAP, 2005


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