Monday, October 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bombing suspect linked to Al-Qaida

Kuala Lumpur, October 13
Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), named by Australia as a suspect in the bombing in Bali, is an Al-Qaida-linked group whose alleged leader lives openly in Indonesia despite intense international pressure for his arrest.

Warnings that the JI was planning major terrorist attacks have come thick and fast recently from countries including Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.

All three have pointed to Indonesian Islamic cleric Abubakar Ba’asyir as a leader of the organisation, but the Indonesian Government has said it has no evidence against him, and he has sued Time magazine for making a similar accusation.

Less than a week ago, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said during a regional meeting in Malaysia: “The organisation that we are most concerned about is a group called Jemaah Islamiyah. We think Ba’asyir is a significant figure in the JI.”

Today, after the blasts at Indonesia’s Bali tourist resort, Mr Downer said: “Jemaah Islamiyah does have links with the Al-Qaida and it’s conceivable that an organisation like that could be behind this action.”

Ba’asyir, 64, is a self-confessed admirer of Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, but says Jemaah Islamiyah does not exist and he has no links with terrorism.

BALI: Dazed tourists, some still in shock, cast around for a flight out of Indonesia’s tourist island of Bali on Sunday after bombs ripped through one of its most popular nightspots.

But away from the site of the suspected terror attack, there was an air of normality on the island as bare-chested surfers carrying boards headed off to its famous Kuta Beach. AFP, Reuters


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