MUSLIM LOVE FOR BOMBS
Indonesia's bomb-makers at large
The men believed to have masterminded the 2004 bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta, and built the bombs used in other recent attacks, are still on the run.
Police have been on their trail since the 2002 Bali bombings.
Two men are believed to have built the bombs used in that attack.
Azahari Husin, a 45-year-old Malaysian university lecturer, and Dulmatin, a 32-year-old electronics expert, were named as chief bomb-makers by another suspect, Ali Imron, who was given a life sentence for his role in the attack, and who has co-operated with the police.
Both men are believed to belong to the militant Islamic group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), accused of carrying out the Bali bombings.
JI, which has often been linked to al-Qaeda, is believed to control a network stretching across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Smaller cells might also exist in Cambodia, Vietnam, and even Australia.
Its principal goals are the establishment of Islamic governments across the region, followed by the formation of a unified South East Asian Islamic state.
Azahari Husin is alleged to be JI's top bomb-making expert.
He gained a doctorate from Britain's University of Reading, and used to work as a former university lecturer in Malaysia.
A married father of two, he is said by some to be a fanatic, ready to die for his cause.
He is believed to have given bomb-making classes to JI militants, and to have issued precise instructions on how the massive car bomb used at the Sari club in Bali was to be manufactured.
As well as technical bomb-making expertise, he is also alleged to have been a key figure at the JI planning meeting which selected Bali as a target.
Dulmatin, also known as Joko Pitono and nicknamed Genius, is a technician and electronics expert.
He is believed to have worked with Azahari Husin to assemble the massive car bomb as well as the explosives vest used by a suicide bomber who attacked the nearby Paddy's Bar, just moments before the explosion at the Sari club.
Indonesian police were successful in catching up with most of the group which carried out the bombings, and several are now in jail and facing execution.
But Azahari Husin and Dulmatin have managed to evade the police hunt, sometimes by the narrowest of margins - police think they have come within minutes of catching Azahari Husin on different occasions.
Since the Bali attacks, Azahari Husin has been more closely linked with another Malaysian, Noordin Mohammed Top.
The two are believed to have built the bomb used in the 2003 attack on Jakarta's JW Marriott hotel, and to have masterminded the September attack on the Australian embassy.
Analysts point out that as long as such men remain at large, the threat of further attacks in Indonesia remains very much alive.
The group they are alleged to belong to, JI, was formed in the mid-1980s by two Indonesian clerics. It evolved its terrorist edge in the mid-1990s when one of its founders, the late Abdullah Sungkar, established contact with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, academics and intelligence experts believe.
While Abdullah Sungkar oversaw JI's political and strategic development, several South East Asian intelligence agencies name Abu Bakar Ba'asyir as the group's spiritual leader.
He is currently on trial facing charges relating to the 2002 Bali attacks and the 2003 Marriott hotel bombing in Jakarta.
Blair blasts Muslim extremists
British leader ready to toughen stance on 'evil ideology' as police release a video image of suspected bombers
BY TINA SUSMAN
July 17, 2005
LONDON -- Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a blistering attack yesterday on radical Muslims' "perversion of religious faith" and hinted at far tougher anti-terror moves as the death toll from last week's bombings rose to 55 and police released a chilling photograph of the four attackers heading to the train that carried them to their fatal mission.
Police said the picture, captured from among thousands of surveillance tapes police have been scanning since the July 7 blasts, showed the men as they strode together with backpacks carrying the bombs that ripped through three Underground trains and a London bus. For the first time, police confirmed the identities of all four suspects: Germaine Lindsay, 19; Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30; Hasid Mir Hussain, 18, and Shahzad Tanweer, 22. All died in the explosions, which police believe were masterminded by someone still at large.
Egyptian authorities continued questioning Magdy Mahmoud Mustafa el-Nashar, 33, an Egyptian-born chemist who lived in Leeds, England, and appeared to have known at least some of the bombers. He was arrested Friday in Cairo after explosives were found in the bathtub of his Leeds apartment, authorities said. El-Nashar has denied any knowledge of the attacks. The violence has prompted calls by some in government to crack down on Islamic extremists in Britain. New measures proposed by government officials in recent days would make it easier to deport extremists and to bar entry to those already rejected by other countries.
Blair did not mention the proposals in his speech but made clear he saw toughening of laws as crucial, along with dialogue with Muslim groups and help from Muslim leaders beyond simple condemnations of violence.
"What we are confronting here is an evil ideology," he said. "This is a battle that must be won, a battle not just about the terrorist methods but their views. Not just their barbaric acts, but their barbaric ideas. Not only what they do, but what they think and the thinking they would impose on others."
Many Muslims, and the family of at least one bomber, have said they believe the attackers were brainwashed by radical clergy, who Blair said had taken advantage of "our tolerance and good nature" to gain a foothold in Europe and to target Muslims such as those recruited for the London attacks - young men born, raised and educated in Britain.
"This is what we are up against," he said. "It cannot be beaten except by confronting it, symptoms and causes, head-on. Without compromise and without delusion."
Muslim leaders issued a joint statement condemning the attacks, but the city's assistant police commissioner, Tarique Ghaffur, said they needed to do more, such as informing on potential terrorists and their supporters.
On a leafy residential street of central London, meanwhile, one of the last signs of the violence disappeared when the wreckage of the double-decker bus believed to have been blown up by Lindsay was towed away.
Latest bombers being shielded
Bruce Wilson in London
POLICE yesterday identified two of last Thursday's London bombers as more than 3000 marksmen fanned out across London, joining the largest manhunt in British history.
In a dramatic day, Scotland Yard also identified where two of the bombers lived and the Southgate flat in which they believe the bombs – which failed to detonate – were made.
They also released details of a mundane-looking household food bucket that could be a vital clue. They believe the explosives were mixed in similar containers, a brand sold in only about 100 outlets across the UK.
The two bombers were identified as Yasin Hassan Omar, 24, from Somalia and Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, who was thought to be from Eritrea.
As polls showed growing public concern about Britain's Muslim community, the fact that Omar had been paid more than £23,000 ($58,000) in state benefits over a six-year period caused more outrage. He appears to have been living free in the one-bedroom north London flat – where the bombs apparently were assembled – after being given political asylum status.
Muktar, also known as Muktar Mohammed Said, moved in with him two years ago.
A neighbour, Sammy Jones, 33, said she saw the two men carrying unmarked boxes into the ninth-floor flat and asked them what they were. They said it was wallpaper stripper.
Other neighbours said the two had recently been joined by a third man, and the three used to kick a football about in a nearby park. Recently Omar had taken to wearing Muslim robes.
Police are now convinced there were five bombers after deciding a fifth man ditched a bomb near Wormwood Scrubs prison in west London. They have not identified the other three.
Five people have been arrested in connection with the two bombing attacks on London, on July 7 and 21, but none was directly involved, police said.
Muktar's father, who is believed to have lived in London for 10 years, was also being questioned.
Police allege Muktar was the bomber whose device failed to explode in a No. 26 bus in Hackney, East London, while Omar had tried to blow up an Underground train between Oxford Circus and Warren Street, in central London.
The latest developments provoked calls for a thorough investigation into Britain's generous political asylum policies. It is likely that all the bombers in the second attacks were admitted to the country as asylum seekers.
The killers in the July 7 attacks, which killed 56 people, were either of British-Pakistani origin or were British citizens.
Police remain puzzled why nobody has come forward with information on the four July 21 suspects whose pictures have now been all over the media since last Friday. They believe the four certainly have gone to ground, and are being protected, evidence the cell may be well-organised and extensive.
Jordan Homicide Bomb: An Islamic Wedding Gift
Written by Barbara J. Stock
Friday, November 11, 2005
The wedding had been set for after Ramadan on November 9, 2005 in Amman, Jordan. A young couple was celebrating their future lives together and sharing their joy with 300 friends and family. This scenario is not so different from weddings in Chicago or London or Sydney. The bride was lovely in her white gown and the groom was handsome in his tuxedo. The only difference for this couple is that, instead of a honeymoon, their marriage will start by burying their fathers and eight other family members.
As this Muslim couple celebrated the beginning of their new lives together, a stranger wandered into the wedding hall, placed himself in the heart of the happy crowd, and blew them and himself to bits. This wedding and its guests were the victims of an Islamic attack on a “soft target.”
The term “soft target” is code for innocent civilians that are much easier to kill than heavily armed soldiers. And the killing is what it is all about for these Islamics. This couple and their guests were Jordanian, and Jordan has been assisting the West, specifically America, in fighting Islamic terrorists. Therefore, any citizen of Jordan is a fair target for Islam. A verse from the Quran states: “Slay the transgressors whereever you find them.” This young couple and people at the two other sites in Amman were considered “transgressors.” Nearly all those killed were Muslim.
While some in the Islamic world will be outraged and claim that these murderers are not “true Muslims,” it is a simple fact that those suicide bombers and those that sent them are following the Quran to the letter.
Last week, the authorities in Australia were luckier. What was reported as a “significant attack” on Australian civilians was thwarted before it could be carried out. Islamic cleric Abu Bakr, a strong supporter of bin Laden and terrorists around the world, was arrested as the ringleader of the group.
This has been a busy week for Islamics. The liberal media has tried to blame the riots in France and now Belgium and Germany on “high unemployment” and lack of jobs rather than admitting it was Muslims sensing a chance to tear something apart and shoot at police. This was a chance for Islam to test the system and the government it hates. It also exposed western Europe’s dirty little secret.
The dirty little secret is that most western European countries, have “no-go” zones. These “no-go” zones are Muslim neighborhoods and the police and firefighters do not enter these neighborhoods unless they absolutely must do so. These “zones” belong to Islam, and all non-believers enter at their own risk. Non-Muslims on the fringes of these “Islamic zones” suffer violent attacks from roving bands of Muslim men and boys patrolling “their” territory. The outrage is that this behavior has been allowed. Europe is just beginning to pay the price for hoping its Islamic problem would just go away if Muslims were just left alone.
In Iran, lovely television shows directed at small children teach these children that it is a joy to become suicide bombers in defense of Islam. The children are taught that Allah will be pleased with them if only they die killing the enemies of Islam.
In the ten-minute film, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, a young Palestinian boy must watch as “evil” Israeli soldiers beat and kill his parents and brother. The boy then joins a “resistance” group who will help him avenge the deaths of his family. Tearful surviving family members bid him farewell with these words, “Go, my children. Go and show the Zionists how brave and heroic are the children of Palestine.” The story ends when the boy, laden with grenades, blows himself up in the middle of a group of Israeli soldiers who all have the face of Satan. A friend of the dead boy picks up his friend’s bloodstained keffiyeh headdress, drapes it over himself, and walks into the sunset--presumably to become a suicide bomber himself.
The Arab news channel, Al-Jazeera, realizing that the world was growing restless with Islam calling suicide bombers “martyrs,” has now renamed the act of killing one’s self to kill others, “Paradise Operations.” The message is clear: kill for Islam and paradise awaits.
The president of Iran has publicly declared Israel should be blown off the face of the planet. Mohamed El Baradei, the head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, is a Muslim and he seems to be making excuses for Iran and its advancing nuclear program. El Baradei always wants to give Iran “a little more time” to be honest about a program that was hidden and lied about for almost 20 years. Can El Baradei truly be trusted to monitor a Muslim country? Can he put his responsibility to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities above Islam?
In Indonesia, two 17-year-old Christians were shot in the head, point-blank, on their way home from church and a few weeks ago three Christian girls were beheaded.
Most of Europe remains in denial that Islam is a real threat not only to their lives but their cultures and way of life. Here in America, people have become complacent about the threat, continuing to cling to the idea that Islam is a nothing more than a peaceful religion that has been high-jacked by a “handful” of bad people. The problem is that this handful equals millions of people who are determined to kill and die for Allah. These terrorists are convinced that a violent death is the only path to paradise.
For the most part, so-called “moderate Muslims” remain silent in their condemnation of this mass murder and many quietly cheer the killing. News agencies are reporting that even in Jordan, a country of almost six million people--nearly all Muslim--only a few hundred people took to the streets to protest the recent bombings.
Why has America not been struck again? No one knows for sure but all agree it is just a matter of time before there is another attack on American soil. The appeasers believe that if America pulls its troops out of Iraq, America will be safe. What the peaceniks seem to forget is that America was not occupying Iraq on September 11, 2001. If we pull the troops out of Iraq, Islam will see this action as a sign of weakness and will step up terror attacks around the world. Perhaps fear of mass retaliation from one of the few countries that has stood up to Islam is making the terrorists hesitate. But Islam’s apparent success in cowing Europe will give them courage.
Americans need to look at the video of the devastated wedding from Jordan. Next week or next month those videos could be from a wedding in St. Louis or a mall in Minneapolis. It could be grammar school in Toledo or a hospital in San Diego. America is full of “soft targets” and Islam has plenty of people who wish to take part in a “paradise operation.” It’s coming, America, so are we ready?
FBI thwarts terrorist plot against NYC
By PAT MILTON
Associated Press Writer
Jul 8, 2006
NEW YORK (AP) -- The terrorist plot, in the words of one FBI official, involved "martyrdom and explosives": suicide bombers who would attack train tunnels used by tens of thousands of commuters in an effort to bring death and flooding to lower Manhattan.
Eight suspects had hoped to pull off the attack in October or November, federal officials said. But federal investigators working with their counterparts in six other countries intervened before the suspects could travel to the United States and become a more serious threat, officials said Friday.
Initial reports said the suspects - including an al-Qaida loyalist arrested in Lebanon and two others in custody elsewhere - wanted to attack the Holland Tunnel, a major thoroughfare that carries cars beneath the Hudson River and into Manhattan.
But officials said the group, with five suspects still at large, had specifically mentioned only the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation train tunnels, which carry more than 215,000 passengers each weekday between New York and New Jersey.
"This is a plot that involved martyrdom and explosives," said FBI Assistant Director Mark J. Mershon.
Officials cited the arrest of the Lebanese suspect - described as the scheme's mastermind - as a significant break in the investigation. A Lebanese official said the Beirut man confessed to plotting to attack the tunnels later this year, and that he was acting on Osama bin Laden's orders.
Police arrested the operative on April 27, acting on information from the FBI, a senior security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. The 31-year-old suspect uses the alias Amir Andalousli, but his real name is Assem Hammoud.
The suspect told investigators he had already undergone training in light weapons in Ein El-Hilweh, a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon that is notorious for lawlessness and violence among rival Palestinian factions.
His family, however, denied any al-Qaida links.
His mother, Nabila Qotob, told The Associated Press she's visited him regularly at a police station where he's being held.
"His morale is high because he is confident he is innocent," she said. "Don't make up accusations. My son is innocent. What al-Qaida? He never left his father's side. He loves life and fun."
New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly said the men believed that bombing the train tunnels under the Hudson River would unleash massive flooding in lower Manhattan, home to Wall Street and the World Trade Center site.
FBI agents monitoring Internet chat rooms that extremists use determined that tunnels were possibly being targeted after they pieced together code words from the conversations, a federal official said.
A federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing, said the suspects hoped it would inflict damage on the U.S. economy.
"They were about to go to a phase where they would attempt to surveil targets, establish a regimen of attack and acquire the resources necessary to effectuate the attacks," Mershon said.
Details of the plot - first reported by the Daily News - emerged on the one-year anniversary of the attacks on the London transportation system that killed 52 people. Officials said the timing of Friday's report was coincidental.
New York's transportation system has emerged as a potential terrorist threat several times over the years. A June book by journalist Ron Suskind highlighted a reported plot by al-Qaida to kill thousands by spreading cyanide gas in the subway. In May, a man was convicted of plotting to blow up a bustling subway station.
Two killed as at least 46 bombs rattle restive south
June 14, 2006
Bangkok: Suspected Muslim insurgents exploded at least 46 bombs yesterday in attacks on government offices and other targets across Thailand's restive south, killing at least two people, as the deputy prime minister visited the region, officials said.
Two people were killed by the blasts in three provinces, and another 24 wounded, said police spokesman Colonel Pattanawut Angkanawin.
The bombings in the three southern Muslim-majority provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala, most of which took place as people headed to work between 8:30 am and 9 am, represented the most extensively coordinated attacks in many months by the suspected Islamic separatists, whose activity surged in January 2004.
One of the bombs went off at a government office in Yala minutes before Deputy Prime Minister Chitchai Wannasathit was due for a visit in the area. Chitchai is in charge of overseeing security in Thailand's south.
More than 1,300 people have been killed in sectarian fighting in the past two-and-a-half years. Government efforts to contain the violence, mainly by pouring security forces into the area, have failed to make much headway.
The attacks came just two days after Thailand finished celebrating the 60th anniversary on the throne of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, and was a sharp reminder of the problems down south after a period of relative calm.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said intelligence information had indicated the insurgents had planned a "major operation" for yesterday but that the government's security operation was "not good enough" to block the attacks.
Thai intelligence officials have said that June 15 was the date chosen by a 1997 meeting of insurgents to represent the "national day" of an independent Pattani sultanate.
The area was annexed in the early 20th century, and a violent separatist movement has waxed and waned since then.
Government efforts to contain the violence, mainly by pouring security forces into the area, have failed to make much headway.
Australian terror suspects bought chemicals, downloaded instructions for bomb making
By Meraiah Foley
March 6, 2007
SYDNEY, Australia – Nine men accused of Australia's largest terrorist conspiracy downloaded bomb-making instructions off the Internet and stockpiled chemicals to make lethal explosives because they believed Islam was under attack, a state prosecutor said Tuesday.
The nine were devotees of a radical Muslim cleric sympathetic to Osama bin Laden, and struck a pact to launch a terrorist attack because they felt their religion was under threat and needed to be defended at any cost, a pre-trial hearing heard Tuesday.
They were arrested in a series of 2005 raids in Sydney and the southern city of Melbourne, where cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika and other followers were also detained and now face separate charges of belonging to a terrorist group.
The nine men were formally indicted Tuesday on one charge each of conspiring between June 2004 and November 2005 to carry out a terrorist act.
A police report released at the time of the arrests listed Australia's only nuclear reactor, the Lucas Heights facility near Sydney used to make radioactive medical supplies, as a possible target. The reactor was not mentioned in Tuesday's hearing.
None of the suspects, who face a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted, entered a plea. The purpose of the hearing, expected to last weeks, was to allow the judge to decide whether there is enough evidence to send the men to a jury trial.
Prosecutor Wendy Abraham said the suspects had obtained large amounts of industrial chemicals that could be used in bomb-making, including hydrochloric and citric acids, glycerin, acetone and brake fluid.
They also had detonators and laboratory equipment such as beakers and rubber tubing to mix and store chemicals, and documents that were “extremist in nature,” Abraham said.
“They believed Islam was under attack,” Abraham told the court. “Violence was the primary tool of their jihad.”
Attorneys for the men did not comment Tuesday but have said they nine are innocent.
During a June 2005 raid on the house of one suspect, Mohammed Ali Elomar, authorities found a computer memory stick containing a 60-page document in Arabic that included instructions on how to make bombs and how to hide explosives near restaurants and government buildings, Abraham said.
The instructions included how to make TATP, the explosive used in the deadly 2005 London subway bombings that can be made from bleach, drain cleaner and acetone paint thinner, she said.
At the homes of two other suspects, Khaled Cheikho and Mirsad Mulahalilovic, authorities found magazines and press releases from al-Qaeda, videos of people being beheaded and transcripts of speeches by bin Laden, Abraham said.
The prosecution alleges the nine men were in routine contact with each other about the alleged plot, using mobile phones registered with fake names to communicate by encoded text messages.
Two of the suspects, Abdul Rakib Hasan and Khaled Sharrouf, allegedly used a mobile phone to arrange a meeting with Benbrika, the prominent Muslim cleric known for praising bin Laden as a “great man.”
During the meeting in Melbourne, Benbrika allegedly told the men they should be prepared to die.
“Everyone has to prepare to die or be jailed, but we have to be careful,” Abraham quoted him as saying. “If we want to die for jihad, we have to do maximum damage, maximum damage.”
Benbrika, also known as Abu Bakr, pleaded not guilty in December to directing the group's activities and possessing a CD related to planning a terrorist act.
Mazen Touma, Omar Baladjam, Mustafa Cheikho and Mohammed Jamal are the other suspects.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organization, the national spy agency, has requested that parts of the proceedings be closed to the public for national security reasons.
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