Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, the Bali Bombings, and the Indonesian Military – 9/11 Timeline Additions as of May 25, 2008

Most new entries in the 9/11 Timeline this week focus on al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Southeast Asia. One of the key moles, who penetrated radical Islamist organizations in Southeast Asia for the Indonesian government from the end of the 1970s, was Fauzi Hasbi, who was a founding member of the al-Qaeda affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), lived near JI leader Hambali for many years, and attended a top-level meeting of Southeast Asian militants.

Another well-known militant organization in Indonesia was Laskar Jihad, which was active in the Spice Islands and was aided by the Indonesian military. There is evidence that the Indonesian military also assisted rebels with an attack on the Jakarta stock exchange, a series of attacks around Christmas Eve in 2000, and attacks on Christian villages in 2001. The Indonesia military also shot a group of American teachers in 2002 and blamed it on a rebel group.

Laskar Jihad allegedly disbanded the day before the 2002 Bali bombings, and the US also warned Indonesian leaders about a possible attack before the bombings, although the US and Saudi governments were slow to take action against a charity linked to the attacks. The president of Indonesia refused to denounce theories of CIA involvement in the Bali bombings, although a mole for the Indonesia military inside the bombers' organization led to questions about the attack.

A Jakarta hotel was bombed, apparently by Islamist militants, in 2003, a top militant was acquitted on terrorism charges in Indonesia in 2005 after the US failed to provide evidence against him, and bombings in Bali in 2005 killed 22. A top al-Qaeda leader in Southeast Asia named Omar al-Faruq and three associates appear to have been allowed to escape from Bagram prison in Afghanistan in 2005, although al-Faruq was later killed in Iraq.

Abdulmukim Edris, the mastermind of a series of al-Qaeda-linked bombings in the Philippines, also appears to have been a government mole and escaped from a maximum security jail in 2003 with two associates in circumstances that can only be described as highly unusual. One of the two associates, Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi, was later killed by the military in 2003, and Islamist militants killed over a hundred people in a ferry bombing the next year.

In Yemen, the government secretly released USS Cole bomber Fahad al-Quso in 2007, and a wanted militant with a $5 million bounty on his head gave a public speech there in 2008, but was not arrested.

Before the day of 9/11, Marine Corps offices were moved out of the Pentagon, saving lives during the attacks, and several new flight attendants were assigned to flight 175 for a variety of reasons. On the day of the attacks itself, emergency workers saw and reported a low-flying plane near the Pentagon, where some aircraft debris was visible following the impact, and CIA headquarters thought Flight 93 was aimed at it.

Miscellaneous entries cover links between British intelligence and a top al-Qaeda leader, Richard Perle's resignation from a Pentagon advisory panel, and a perceptive prediction from the head of French intelligence in the early 1990s. An Arizona state senator questioned the official account of 9/11, US agents tried to test smuggle explosives into a G8 summit, and Pakistan was reported to be still supporting the Taliban in 2006.

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