Sid Harta Publishers
- An extract from the book Crescent Moon Rising by Kerry B. Collison
The Bali Bombings
That one of the world’s most treasured tourist destinations came under terrorist attack on Saturday 12th October 2002 is an unfortunate historical fact. Almost half of the number of victims who perished were Australians, the single most devastating attack on Aussie civilians since the Japanese bombed Darwin during the Second World War. There can be no doubt that had our intelligence agencies understood the import of the contents contained in the white Toshiba laptop discovered in the Dona Josef apartment fire in Manila in 1995, Hambali would have been arrested and the Malaysian terrorist cells would have been closed down.
Then the devastating September 11 attacks and the Bali bombings might have been prevented.
Bali was an obvious target as it represented Indonesia’s soft-underbelly. There were overt warnings that demonstrated Bali had been identified for such an attack. There was obvious intelligence sadly overlooked by the Australian agencies. Headlines of articles posted to my current affairs site and a copy of the Department of Foreign Affairs Travel Advice issued primarily to Australian residents in Indonesia, are copied at the end of these notes. The Australian Consul in Bali also issued copies of the Jakarta embassy warnings to Australians living on the island. However, the original was altered at that time to suggest that Bali remained a safe destination when it was obviously not.
Excerpt from ‘Antara’- Indonesia’s News Agency
Filipino Bomber Arrested in Bali.
Tuesday 19th September Sep 2000
Author’s Note: They never did.
Many continue to speculate as to the motivation and the identities of all those responsible for this tragic event and whether the United States had prior intelligence identifying the targets in Bali. It is significant to note, however, that in the period preceding the Kuta attacks the six-hundred strong American marine R & R rotation ceased without warning. The U.S.S. Bellawood was but one of the many American ships that had visited Bali in previous years with most of its three thousand complement frequenting Kuta’s bars during their stay. Elements of the U.S. Seventh Fleet frequently sailed through Indonesia’s waters. Ships from the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk battle group, the U.S.S. Gary, U.S.S. Curtis Wilbur and the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier all involved in an incident relating to an Indonesian fishing vessel being swamped on Saturday 13th of October 2001, almost precisely one year to the day before the Bali attack. Analysts maintain that Paddy’s Bar and the Sari Club were regularly crowded with marines on R & R from this battle group. Then, suddenly, American military presence on the island disappeared. There can be no doubt that sentiment regarding Australia’s position with respect to supporting the Bush Family’s determination to wage war with Saddam Hussein swung favorably in their direction following the Bali tragedy.
The real irony is that our participation in the Coalition of the Willing has delivered a gift of epic proportions to the Islamic, extremist fringe and will most likely result in Australia suffering an attack of disastrous proportions.
With the Kuta bombing, international intelligence services immediately laid the blame on al-Qaeda without first examining other, and less obvious terrorist groups such as the Jemaah Islamiyah and the Laskar Jihad.
Abu Bakar Bashir & Jemaah Islamiyah
In 1971, Abu Bakar Bashir an Indonesian citizen of Yemeni descent co-founded a puritanical Islamic boarding school near Solo in Central Java. That school still exists today. Suharto had Abu Bakar jailed from 1978 to 1982 for attempting to form an Islamic militia called Komando Jihad.Within months of his release from prison he was again convicted of subversive activities and, consequently, fled to Malaysia where he quietly went about gathering other Indonesians, Malays, Filipinos and Singaporeans who shared his vision for a Pan-Islamic state which would incorporate Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. This was, in effect, the birth of the Jemaah Islamiyah, or Islamic Community group.
Riduan Isamuddin (a.k.a. Hambali)
'Hambali', the nom de guerre of Riduan Isamuddin is a 37 year old Indonesian cleric who, prior to his capture was al-Qaeda’s mastermind in South East Asia and the one who authorized the bombing of the Bali targets.
Hambali was born in Sukamanah, a village in west Java, in 1966. With Abu Bakar Bashir Hambali fled to Malaysia in 1985, fearing President Suharto’s repression of hard line radical Islamic groups. From there, he traveled to Afghanistan and joined in the fight against Soviet Russian forces.
By 1990 Hambali and Bashir moved to Malaysia to recruit supporters from the predominantly Muslim country. Their intention, to build a network that would work towards the creation of a Pan Islamic State incorporating Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
It was Hambali, not Bashir, who first led the movement towards violence. By 1998 nearly 20 Malaysians had been to al-Qaeda's training camps in Afghanistan. Split into two cells for security, they began to look for possible targets. Eventually the group decided to attack a bus service for US servicemen in Singapore. In mid-1999 a 'presentational' video was made in the hope of convincing al-Qaeda to fund the operation.
Interrogations of Jemaah Islamiyah members arrested in Singapore have revealed that the al-Qaeda leadership used a Saudi Arabian charity to transfer substantial funds to Hambali. The Indonesian then used a Malaysian recruit who ran a clinical pathology company to purchase four tons of ammonium nitrate.
Hambali's cache has never been found and investigators believe only part of the explosives may have been used in the Bali bomb.
It was Hambali who arranged accommodation in an activist's flat in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur for two of the September Eleven hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaq Alhazmi. Hambali was arrested near the Thai-Cambodian border and surrendered to the United States. Currently he is being held on a joint American-British air base on the remote Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. The Indonesian authorities were not given access resulting in Jakarta’s case against Abu Bakar Bashir with respect to his involvement in the Bali bombings being significantly weakened, resulting in a number of charges being dropped and a relatively light sentence being handed down on the guilty verdict.
Hambali’s (Jemaah Islamiyah) forces, participated in the combined three-year killing spree in the Moluccas and Sulawesi obviously supported by the TNI’s Special Forces, Kopassus who had the capacity to prevent the ongoing slaughter of unarmed Christians but ignored the atrocities, under instructions from Jakarta.
The Laskar Jihad & Jafar Umar Thalib
Jafar Umar Thalib, a veteran of the Afghan-Soviet war has close links to former President Suharto’s family, friends and cronies. He is known to have met with Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 1987 and founded the fundamentalist Moslem Laskar Jihad (Allah’s Holy Warriors) in 1998. The Laskar Jihad grew into a 12,000 strong, paramilitary force across the archipelago whose followers flooded eastern Indonesian provinces killing an estimated ten thousand Christians in the Moluccas (Ambon) areas.
Hambali returned to Indonesia after Suharto stepped down and immediately began recruiting local operatives. That Christmas, 20 bombs exploded almost simultaneously in nine Indonesian cities, killing 18 people, many of them in churches. Dozens more were defused or failed to explode. A series of suspects identified Hambali as the mastermind. In 2000 Hambali urged his followers to travel to the Moluccu islands in eastern Indonesia to join a brutal, long-running conflict betweenMuslim and Christian villagers, waged by the Laskar Jihad which, co-incidentally, closed down its website just hours before the Bali bombings, and disbanded.
According to Indonesian intelligence officials, more than 300 Indonesians were trained in al-Qaeda's camps in Afghanistan. Some have joined movements such as Laskar Jihad or Jemaah Islamiyah, but many more have simply gone to ground, meeting occasionally in small groups, staying in touch with more senior men.
The local muscle for the Bali bombs included several of these people.
Others mentioned in Crescent Moon Rising
The Yemeni national entered Indonesia by using a fake U.S. passport a few days before the explosions in Kuta, supervised the fine-tuning of the chemical mixture of the main Bali bomb to achieve maximum impact, leaving Indonesia just hours before the bombs were detonated. Syafullah is a senior al-Qaeda operative whose trail of terror goes back to involvement in the 1996 bombings of a U.S. military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 servicemen. The United States government has been able to track and record Syafullah’s movements raising the question as to why the Americans have never arrested this terrorist. Could it be that Syafullah, not unlike Omar Al-Faruq, is not what he appears to be?
This is one of the most bizarre aspects of CIA operations in Indonesia. Indonesia’s former BAKIN (State Intelligence Coordinating Board) chief, A.C. Manulang revealed that Al-Faruq is a CIA-recruited agent and if this is correct, the U.S. government funded the growth of the Jemaah Islamiyah.
Al-Faruq was ‘arrested’ in West Java on 5th June 2002 and flown out of the country in the CIA’s now infamous Gulf Jetstream. Al-Faruq was assigned to infiltrate Indonesia’s Islamic radical groups. He entered the country as a refugee and married locally. He holds Kuwaiti citizenship and travels on a Pakistani passport. Al-Faruq testified that he had masterminded the plan to murder President Megawati and a number of bombings in Indonesia. He was whisked away on the CIA’s Gulfstream V, aircraft number N379P, a covert operations referred to as ‘Torture Air’ by those in the know. The aircraft is registered to Premier Executive Transport Services Inc, a CIA-owned shelf company.
The United States claims that they currently hold Al-Faruq in Guantanomo Bay.
Merv Jenkins was a graduate from the Royal Military College in Duntroon. Two years after graduation he assumed command of an elite and highly secret group of commandos known as 660 Signal Troop which was responsible for providing communications for Australia’s Secret Service ASIS agents overseas. Jenkins also served as the Commanding Officer of 72 Electronic Warfare Squadron in Queensland.
In 1996 he was posted to the USA as the DIO Attaché for North America.
His position required that he work to improve the information flow to the Americans who were, at that time, complaining that Australia was less than supportive. He liaised with the CIA and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. The CIA believed that Australia had been holding back information on intelligence surrounding Suharto’s regime and events in East Timor. They applied pressure. Coincidentally, at that time both governments were renegotiating the US-Australian joint spy base in Central Australia at Pine Gap. It was at this time that a young Australian DIO officer, Jean-Philippe Wispelaere flew into Washington from London carrying more than 1,000 high-resolution U.S. spy satellite photographs which he intended to sell. He had stolen these from the DIO offices in Canberra and had already offered the photographs to Asian interests. He had been lured to Washington by the FBI; his arrest of deep embarrassment to Canberra. It was at this time also that the militias in East Timor were on the rampage. The Americans pressured Jenkins for more information which in part, he delivered. When the CIA examined the intelligence they realized that Australia had, in fact, been holding back. Part of these revelations was a highly sensitive top secret report indicating that the Australian Army deliberately ignored intelligence reports about the impending massacre of East Timorese by Indonesian-backed militias. The Americans wanted to know why Canberra had been withholding information relating to Indonesian troop movements. The CIA applied pressure and former Colonel, Merv Jenkins was discovered dead on his 48th birthday, hanging from a rope in his garage in Washington.Later, one Captain Andrew Plunkett, a 3rd Battalion RAF intelligence officer revealed that Australian intelligence agencies had instructed his and other units to conceal evidence of war crimes by elements of the Indonesian Armed Forces and their militias.
Fred Burks is the U.S. State Department interpreter who was selected for the task as interpreter when Washington sent a delegation with a request for Jakarta to arrest Abu Bakar Bashir and surrender him to the United States. President Megawati received the Americans in her home. The meeting as reported in this story is basically accurate.
Omar Ibn al Khattab a.k.a. Khattab was born in Jordan to a tribe living near the border with Saudi Arabia.He fought in mainly Muslim parts of the former Soviet Union such as Tajikistan and Azerbaijan But it was in Chechnya that he made his name to the wider world, moving there in 1995 to fight Moscow's attempts to reclaim the separatist region, first in the 1994-1996 war and then after Russian troops returned in force in 1999.
Ramzi Yousef & Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Ramzi Yousef was instrumental in the bombing of the World Trade Centre. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Bojinka operation who had been appointed by Osama bin Laden to command Al Qaeda’s worldwide military operations and was number three in the terrorist hierarchy. They operated in the Philippines through the Malaysian front company, Konsojaya Sdn Bhd which, incredibly, failed to be spotted on either Kuala Lumpur’s or the West’s intelligence screen. These men plotted, successfully, attacks across the globe and were substantial supporters of the militant Islamic group, the Abu Sayyaf.
Aldam Tildao a.k.a. Abu Sapara
Tildao inherited leadership of the Abu Sayyaf in the Southern Philippines. It is widely believed that his brief interrogation before being covertly executed yielded significant intelligence to the United States identifying Kuta bars as targets.
Australia’s Spy Stations
The following list is the best unclassified shot at describing the locations of the ground-based "ears" of Puzzle Palace (The NSA) locations in Australia. It does not include the substantial number of listening units on vessels and aircraft or those operating from U.S. embassies, consulates, and other representative missions.
Bamaga -6 -7
Echelon runs a matrix of spy satellites, satellite and radio listening facilities, undersea listening devices and eavesdropping spy planes to monitor the world's phone, radio, telex, fax and internet traffic. Australia's contribution is a ring of powerful satellite and radio intercept ground stations. The main ones are at Pine Gap in Central Australia, Cabarlah in Queensland, Kojarena near Geraldton in Western Australia, Shoal Bay in the Northern Territory, and the newest, the DSD Riverina station near Wagga Wagga in NSW.
Radio Thermal Generators and Suitcase Bombs
In Georgia a search is underway for at least two of the devices, called radio thermal generators, or RTGs, believed to have been abandoned and then stolen after the closing of a Soviet military base. A few years ago woodcutters in northwestern Georgia suffered massive injuries after stumbling upon a similar device in the middle of a forest. The RTGs, used by the Soviets to power navigational beacons and communications equipment in remote areas, each contain up to 40,000 curies of highly radioactive strontium or cesium.
RTGs are self-contained power sources that convert radioactive energy into electricity. Compact and relatively small—Soviet models are between two and four feet in length and weigh between 400 and 1,200 kilograms—they are ideal for remote areas with little access to traditional fuels. The Soviets are known to have built more than 300 of the devices, most of them to power navigational beacons along arctic shipping lanes.
In Soviet-made RTGs, the device's core typically is a flashlight-size capsule of strontium 90, surrounded by thick lead to absorb the radiation. When the lead cladding is intact, the generator is essentially harmless. But if the shielding were missing or cracked, someone standing nearby would receive a fatal dose of radiation within hours.
Extract from the Jerusalem Report: October 25th, 1999 “Master terrorist Osama Bin Laden has acquired portable nuclear devices, a U.S.-based expert on non-conventional terror believes. The only real question now is whether Bin Laden has "a few," as Russian intelligence seems to think, or "over 20," a figure cited by Western intelligence services. Bin Laden’s associates acquired the devices through Chechnya, paying the Chechens $30 million in cash and two tons of Afghan heroin, worth about $70 million in Afghanistan and about 10 times that on the street in Western cities.” 1998 testimony by former Russian security chief Alexander Lebed to the U.S. House of Representatives. Lebed said: “that 43 nuclear suitcases from the former Soviet arsenal, developed for the KGB in the 1970s, have vanished since the collapse of the former Soviet Union a decade ago. One person could detonate such a bomb by himself and kill 100,000 people.”
Indonesia’s Spy Agencies
BAKIN(Badan Koordinasi Intelijen), the Indonesian State Intelligence Coordinating Agency was created by President Suharto in 1967 subsequent to seizing power from Sukarno. Staffed at the most senior levels by serving or retired officers it is feared for its brutal and malicious political intervention against political opponents. BAKIN regularly mounted both domestic and international operations in support of the presidency. Amongst these, the successful penetration by the agency’s agent provocateurs of the Komando Jihad, (Holy War Command), eventually taking charge of that organization and turning it, ironically, into a militant band of thugs and murderers. The philosophy behind the operation was to create widespread publicity to the re-emergence of radical Islam in the belief that Indonesians would be reluctant to identify with any form of political Islam. The security forces then used the Komando Jihad scare to haul in suspected critics of the government.
BIA (Badan Intelijen Strategis, Strategic Intelligence Agency), on the other hand, reports to TNI Headquarters (Mabes TNI), especially to the Commander-in-Chief (Pang TNI). It is left to him which intelligence he passes on to the President.
BINBadan Intelijen Nasional – Replaced BAKIN
Indonesia’s Special Forces
KOPASSUS units were involved in 1981 in freeing the hostages from the "Woyla," the Garuda Airline plane hijacked by followers of Imran, leader of an Islamic splinter movement in West Java. Imran forced the plane to land at the Don Muang Airport in Thailand. These Special Forces are trained in intelligence gathering, a variety of special operations techniques, sabotage, and airborne and seaborne landings. KOPASSUS soldiers are easily identified by their distinctive red berets.
COPY OF THE AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY TRAVEL ADVICE FOUR WEEKS PRIOR TO THE BALI BOMBINGS
(Circulated to Australians living in Indonesia but not the General Public in Australia)
COPY OF DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FOR THE MOLUCCAN REPUBLIC
(Republic of the Moluccas)
AN INDEPENDENT MOLUCCAN STATE BY VIRTUE OF THE RIGHT
On April 25th 1992, a new Government, The Government of the Republic of
This new Moluccan government in exile is formed on the initiative of the of the Moluccan political organisation "Homeland Mission 1950". The main aim is to obtain the independence of the Republic of the Moluccas.
AFTER THE TRANSFER OF SOVEREIGNTY FROM THE NETHERLANDS-INDIES TO THE UNITED STATES OF INDONESIA IN DECEMBER 1949, AN INTERNAL STRIVE BETWEEN THE UNITARIAN GROUP AND THE FEDERALISTS BEGAN. THE UNITARIAN GROUP WAS AIMED AT A UNITARIAN STATE WHILE THE FEDERALISTS STOOD BY THE DECISION MADE DURING THE ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE (R.T.C. - TREATY) AUGUST 3RD - NOVEMBER 2ND 1949; DETERMINING THAT INDONESIA WILL BECOME A FEDERATE STATE. SEVERAL FEDERATE STATES JOINED THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA, WHICH HAD THE DISPOSAL OF THE STRONGEST MILITARY TROOPS. ONLY THE FEDERATE STATE EAST-INDONESIA LEFT OVER, OF WHICH THE MOLUCCAS MADE A PART.
ON APRIL 25TH 1950, THE REPUBLIC OF THE SOUTH MOLUCCAS WAS PROCLAIMED IN AMBON, CAPITAL CITY OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE SOUTH MOLUCCAS.
Kerry B. Collison