Skip to comments.Embassy attack 'was for Iraq'
Posted on 07/31/2005 4:38:21 PM PDT by Aussie Dasher
OSAMA bin Laden sent a bundle of Australian dollars to fund last year's bombing attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta, the terrorist who led the attack has told Indonesian police.
Rois, who also goes under the name of Iwan Dharmawan, told police under interrogation that a courier had delivered the cash to Malaysian master bomber Azahari bin Husin and it came directly from bin Laden. Rois said Australia had been chosen as a target for the bombing because of its support for the US in Iraq, according to a transcript of his police interview.
As the right-hand man of Azahari and co-conspirator Noordin Mohammed Top, Rois was in charge of logistics and regularly discussed operations and planning with his two militant superiors.
His claim is significant because it indicates bin Laden maintained direct contact with Indonesian operatives after the 2003 arrest of Hambali, the militant linkman between al-Qaeda and Indonesia's extremist Jemaah Islamiah network.
Rois was caught by police in West Java last November, two months after the truck bombing at the embassy killed the suicide bomber and 10 innocent people, and wounded scores of others.
"What I know, from what was said to me by Dr Azahari when we were still in the rented house in Purwakarta, the bombing cost as much as $10,000, which Dr Azahari said would convert to around 50 million to 60 million rupiah," Rois told police in an official interview on November 10 last year.
"According to Dr Azahari's explanation to me at the time, the funds came from Osama bin Laden, and they were sent by a courier, but he didn't say the name, or when he received it."
Rois did not tell police whether he had been told why bin Laden sent Australian dollars rather than any other currency.
The reason for attacking Australia, Rois said, was because it was a US ally.
"The intention to bomb the Australian embassy was because the Australian Government is the American lackey most active in supporting American policies to slaughter Muslims in Iraq. It had the aim of preventing Australia again leaning on Muslims, especially in Iraq," he said.
The police dossier on Rois provided the foundation of the prosecution's case against the militant, who is now standing trial on terrorism charges.
With transcripts of four official interrogations conducted with Rois between November and February, the dossier lays out the planning for the bombing on September 9 in central Jakarta.
Rois, a 30-year-old trader from West Java, told police the plan to attack the Australian embassy was the brainchild of Top, and he also revealed that Azahari and Top planned further attacks in Jakarta. Asia's most-wanted men have successfully eluded police since the 2002 Bali bombings.
Azahari and Top had about 50kg of TNT stashed somewhere, Rois said, adding that after the bombings he was told by Top not to leave West Java.
"Because, God willing, we still had other targets in Jakarta," Rois quoted Top as saying. The order followed the militants' disappointment with the embassy attack - only 10 innocent people dead, all Indonesians and, they suspected, mostly Muslims.
Rois said the attack plan was for the suicide bomber Heri Golun to drive the truck through the embassy gates as they opened to let a vehicle out or, alternatively, to crash through them. Yet Golun, who was a novice driver, detonated the truck metres before the gates.
In late September, more than a fortnight after the embassy bombing, Top ordered two of the attack operatives, Jabir and Abdul Fatah, to an area in Java. Rois added: "I found out later they went to the Ngruki school in Solo."
The order was yet another loop of evidence linking extremist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir's notorious Ngruki school to the spate of terrorist bombings that has shaken Indonesia in recent years.
The alma mater of dozens of militants accused and convicted of terrorism, Ngruki has yet to be shut down by Jakarta.
A senior Australian government security expert said yesterday that it was quite possible that al-Qaeda had funded the Jakarta embassy bombing but there had been no intelligence that proved the claim.
"You would keep an open mind about it. It is certainly possible," he said.
The expert judged it unlikely that Rois would have known if any money had been transferred directly from bin Laden to Azahari and Top.
With his trial now under way in South Jakarta district court, Rois faces stiff terrorism charges, and the prosecutors could even recommend that the three judges sentence him to death.
He managed the logistics of the attack: renting houses, giving orders, buying the truck, recruiting and watching over the suicide bomber candidates, teaching the suicide bomber Golun to drive, accompanying Azahari and Top on journeys, and planning escape routes.
Expected to testify in his own defence tomorrow, Rois has denied he was a member of JI. He helped with the embassy blast because he had been inspired by the master-bombers.
"I joined Noordin Top and Dr Azahari because Mr Top always motivated me about jihad, and explained the condition of jihad today, which had already become a universal jihad, unlimited by region," he said.
Wearing bum-bags filled with a suicide pack of TNT, a detonator, bullets and a detonation cord, Rois and an associate were caught in West Java.
In the interview transcript, he said police tricked them by sending free meals of fried rice into the boarding house.
He also told police his bosses, Dr Azahari and Top, had confirmed they took part in planning the 2002 Bali blasts, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians, and the bombing at Jakarta's Marriott hotel in 2003, which killed 12.
As if Bin Laden only attacks because of any specific policy decision.
What a crock. If this were true, then Al Quida would be attacking itself far more often than anyone else. THEY are killing more Muslimns in Iraq than anyone.
bin Laden has NEVER won any points for logic...
How does a guy, wearing a sheet, that is shacked up with a female goat, in a cave, in the middle of nowhere come up with "bundles" of Australian money? I think this story is a real stretch.
So 9/11 was because we were in Iraq?
Didn't you know his cave has its own auto-teller machine?
I guess. LOL.
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