DAP calls for a White Paper to be tabled in Parliament next month on al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiah and Hambali and the latest situation report in Malaysia’s war on international terror
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The arrest of Hambali, al Qaeda’s top man in Asia and suspected mastermind behind numerous deadly bombings in the region, in Thailand early this week is a coup in the fight against international terrorism although it is too early for those fighting the war on terror to let down their guard.
Hambali was allegedly preparing to stage an attack in Bangkok during the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation leaders’ summit in October.
Hambali, born Riduan Isamuddin, thought to be operations chief of Southeast Asia’s militant Jemaah Islamiah (JI) network and the only non-Arab to sit on al Qaeda’s military committee, is wanted by the Indonesian police as the suspected brains behind last October’s Bali bombings that killed 202 people and in connection with many other attacks across the archipelago.
He is also accused of providing logistical support for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as a close associate of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged September 11 mastermind who was captured earlier this year. He is also a leading suspect in the Marriot bombing in Jakarta, and has been accused of planning of series of bombings in Manila, Philipphines that killed 22 people and injured more than 100 in December 2000.
The question is whether Hambali’s arrest will trigger a wave of revenge attacks by his JI group in Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.
The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai, has claimed that intelligence which Malaysian police shared with their counterparts in neighbouring countries has led to the arrest of Hambali in Thailand, although he declined to disclose details of the intelligence reports.
As it is now almost two years since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, DAP calls for a White Paper to be tabled in Parliament next month on al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiah and Hambali and the latest situation report in Malaysia’s war on international terror. The place for Norian Mai to disclose the nature of the intelligence reports which Malaysia shared with other neighbouring countries leading to Hambali’s arrest will be in the White Paper.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman