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INDONESIAN Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir claims America's top spy agency was involved in the 2002 Bali bombings.
Bashir, who was convicted and imprisoned for having prior knowledge of the attacks which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, is also appealing for the lives of three convicted bombers to be spared.
Bashir, the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), was released from prison in June after serving nearly two years.
Amrozi, Ali Ghufron - also known as Mukhlas - and Imam Samudra are awaiting execution for their part in the plot.
In an interview tonight on ABC television's Foreign Correspondent, Bashir claims the device that killed most people in the Bali attack was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) "micro-nuclear" bomb.
"The micro-nuclear bomb that did so much damage was a CIA bomb, not Amrozi's bomb," Bashir told the ABC.
"The Bali bombing was actually masterminded by America. Well, not masterminded, but hijacked. They planned it, but their plan was hijacked by America."
It is understood the judges determining Bashir's case last year were concerned for their safety.
Bashir was sentenced last September to four years in prison on treason and immigration charges, widely thought to be a very light sentence. In December, an appeals court quashed the treason conviction and reduced his sentence to three years. In the decision announced yesterday, the Supreme Court reduced it again to 18 months, nearly all of which Bashir has served.
In an interview shown on SBS last night, Bashir said the Central Intelligence Agency was behind the Bali bombings and described the US and Australia as terrorists.
ABDURRAHMAN WAHID: Yeah, who knows that the owners to do this, to do that -- orders to do this, to do that came from within our own forces, not from the culprits, from the fundamentalist people.
Luckily there's an old print lying around from a previous exercise. Because of the war on terror, American and Australian support for the Indonesian police has never been stronger. During Dai Bachtiar's 5-year reign as police chief, Indonesia endured countless act of terror including three major ones - in Bali, then the Marriott Hotel and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. These massive blasts might have forced the resignation of any other senior official but Dai Bachtiar managed to survive with the backing of powerful friends at home and abroad.
POLICE CHIEF (Translation): I met Paul Wolfowitz.
In Indonesia's parliament earlier this year, I found the police chief boasting about how he gets the star treatment when he visits Washington.
POLICE CHIEF (Translation): I went to Washington, to the White Hosue, to the West Wing. I spoke to Colin Powell in his office. I went to the Pentagon, I met the director of the CIA, the director of the FBI, I met them all.
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
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Former State Intelligence Coordinating Board (BAKIN) chief A.C. Manulang has said that Kuwaitd 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.
Al Faruq was assigned to infiltrate Islamic radical groups and recruit local agents within these groups.
“When Al Faruq finished his assignments, the CIA created a scenario that he had been arrested,” Manulang told Tempo News Room in Jakarta on Thursday afternoon (19/9).
Omar al-Faruq is a Kuwaiti citizen, and alleged senior al Qaeda cadre, who escaped from the Bagram high value detention centre. Al-Faruq has been described as a liaison between al Qaeda and Islamic militants in the Far East. Al-Faruq was, apparently, captured in Indonesia. However some observers have suggested that Al-Faruq was a CIA mole.
Al-Faruq's capture was based on information derived from the capture of Abu Zubaydah.
He travelled to Afghanistan in the year 1983 to fight the Soviet Union during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Over the three year course of being a mujahid, from 1987 to 1990, met Osama bin Laden. Most of his friends and family back home claim that they did not know what he was doing.
.The mujahideen were significantly financed, armed, and trained by the United States (during the Carter and Reagan administrations
FOREIGN Minister Alexander Downer has rejected fresh claims about the Bali bombings by firebrand Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir as "preposterous".
Mr Downer also said he was happy with the way Indonesia was monitoring the movements of Bashir, despite the cleric suggesting he faced no travel restrictions.
Bashir, convicted of having prior knowledge of the 2002 attacks which killed 202 people including 88 Australians, now claims US ' top spy agency was involved in the attacks.
It was precisely 11.30 p.m. on Saturday 12 October 2002, when someone somewhere pressed a button that sent a single coded radio-squirt to an underground aerial located in a monsoon drain outside the Sari Club in Bali. An unseen circuit closed and a primer fired, then one-millionth of a single second later, a terrible fireball formed under the street. Less than six inches in diameter and burning at a staggering 300,000 degrees centigrade, the fireball was a perfect shimmering sphere, made possible by 99.78% Plutonium 239 manufactured at the Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev Desert.
Five microseconds passed while this fission monster from hell expanded, then the already-cooling fireball tore its angry way out into the street above, vaporizing all victims standing within thirty feet while simultaneously spreading two tons of deadly microscopic roadbed shrapnel in a lethal arc across Kuta Beach. Every survivor standing in direct line-of-sight of its awesome ultraviolet emission received terrible flash burns, the like of which three eminent Australian burns surgeons would later claim on TV they ?had never seen before?.
Less than ten-millionths of a second after the monster achieved critical mass, its searing thermal wave set fire to twenty-seven buildings in the immediate area, and spontaneously ignited automobiles parked two blocks away from ground zero. But as you will read later in this report, no ordinary Geiger counter from any nation could detect radiation from the weapon.
Mini-nuke is a term used for a low yield nuclear weapon which has much less explosive power than the most powerful nuclear weapons available. Because of the relatively small yield, a state can plan to use these weapons while hoping to avoid negative public reactions associated with nuclear war. Any potenial plan to produce mini-nukes by the United States has been blocked by the United States Congress, which prohibited the development of any nuclear weapons with a yield of less than five kilotons