‘Al-Qaeda link’ to Jakarta hotel bombings

“Jihad and terrorism are not something to be afraid of or avoided, because to cause terror to Allah’s enemies is the instruction of Islam,” said an article by the “Prince of Jihad” which appeared on Ar-Rahmah’s website after the hotel attacks.

The enemies of Allah are all those who do not admit he is the one God and that Mohammed was his prophet. About 75% of the Earths population.

NEWS.COM… INDONESIAN police are pursuing an al-Qaeda connection to the twin suicide attacks on Jakarta hotels, after confirming that a suspect in custody had been a follower of Osama bin Laden.

National police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri said the suspect, Indonesian publisher and Islamist blogger Mohammed Jibril Abdurahman – known on the internet as the “Prince of Jihad” — was once a member of al-Qaeda.

Mohammed Jibril was arrested outside Jakarta late on Tuesday on suspicion of channeling money from abroad to finance the July 17 attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels, which killed nine people including three Australians and the two bombers.

The blasts marked the bloody end of a four-year hiatus in such attacks in the world’s most populous Muslim country, and have been blamed on a terror network led by Malaysian extremist Noordin Mohammed Top.

Asked by reporters whether Mohammed Jibril had been a member of al-Qaeda, Danuri said “yes.”
“Let the process proceed, there will be more developments,” he said, without elaborating.

Noordin, 41, is the most wanted extremist in Indonesia and calls his group “al-Qaeda in the Malay Archipelago.”He allegedly received al-Qaeda backing for an attack on the Marriott in 2003 which killed 12 people, and is also accused of masterminding attacks on the Australian embassy in 2004 and tourist restaurants in Bali in 2005.

Police say they have killed three cell members and arrested five since July 17, including a Saudi national who allegedly smuggled money from abroad to pay for the operation.

The source of the funds is not known, but police have said they are investigating whether the money came from al-Qaeda brokers in the Middle East or South Asia, among other possible donors.

Mohammed Jibril studied Islam in Karachi, southern Pakistan, where he joined an al-Qaeda-affiliated group known as Al-Ghuraba, or The Foreigners, according to analysts such as the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG).

Al-Ghuraba was set up in 1999 by Hambali, the Indonesian alleged point-man for al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia who is in US custody at Guantanamo Bay, analysts said.

It trained Southeast Asian members of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) regional terror network blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, and served as a conduit between JI and al-Qaeda.

The August 2003 arrest of Hambali, seen as JI’s operations chief, led to the breakup of Al-Ghuraba but analysts said the Pakistan connection could have been re-established and used to finance the latest attack in Indonesia.

Hambali’s younger brother and Al-Ghuraba alumni Gun Gun Rusman Gunawan was sentenced to four years’ jail in Indonesia in 2004 for helping to finance the 2003 Marriott attack. He served only two years and is now free.

A spokesman for Mohammed Jibril’s family, Irfan S Awwas, rejected accusations the publisher had any role in the hotel attacks.

“Do you think Al-Ghuraba is a terrorist movement?” he asked reporters as he appeared with the suspect’s father, radical cleric Abu Jibril, at the national police headquarters to demand Mohammed Jibril’s release.

“As a student there (in Pakistan), anyone can join any organisation such as Al-Ghuraba – it’s not forbidden.”

Mohammed Jibril’s publishing company, Ar-Rahmah, has sold al-Qaeda propaganda videos in Indonesia and last year launched Jihadmagz magazine, which glorifies global terror attacks.

His father was arrested in Malaysia in 2001 on suspicion of being a JI member. He was deported to Indonesia in 2003 but served only about five months in jail for using a forged passport.

He now runs a website, Abujibriel.com, which also supports radical Islamist groups and spouts jihadist ideology.

“Jihad and terrorism are not something to be afraid of or avoided, because to cause terror to Allah’s enemies is the instruction of Islam,” said an article by the “Prince of Jihad” which appeared on Ar-Rahmah’s website after the hotel attacks.

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