Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Indonesian Police Follow Money Trail from Middle East to Indonesian Terrorists

Ties between Middle East extremists and Indonesian terrorist cells linked to the suicide attacks on two Jakarta hotels have emerged after the arrest of the suspected financier of the plot, who lived for many years in Saudi Arabia.

The financial links between Noordin's cell and Middle East militants - including al-Qaeda - could herald a disturbing new wave of co-operation between Noordin and far-flung followers of violent jihad. Al-Qaeda provided at least part of the funding for the first Bali bombings in 2002 and the first attack on the JW Marriott in 2003, both arranged by the terrorist group's point man in South-East Asia, Hambali.

But that funding appeared to dry up for the next six years, with the arrest of Hambali and his incarceration in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, along with his brother Gun Gun Rusman Gunawan and an associate, Zubair. Indonesia's Centre for Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis believes 68 transactions from 2004 to 2009 could be linked to terrorism.

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