It seems that the terrorist Hambali wanted to start the jihad in Australia, but wasn’t able to get it off the ground. This from The Australian, with thanks to Jean-Luc:
HAMBALI, Southeast Asia’s most dangerous terrorist, wanted to attack Australia but had failed to establish a local network capable of staging bombings, US interrogators have learned.
The CIA, acting as interrogator for the Australian Federal Police and ASIO, asked Hambali in late November more than 200 questions about terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah’s intentions in Australia.
The responses have reaffirmed a belief by both agencies that the JI cell covering Australia, known as Mantiqi 4, was the least developed and operationally capable of JI’s four regions.
The answers reveal Hambali had almost no success in establishing a local Anglo-Saxon network and instead relied on two Indonesian brothers, Abdul Rahim Ayub and Abdul Rochman Ayub.
There was one alleged exception, a local man who legally cannot be named and who has been under the sustained scrutiny of authorities.
The Ayubs’ duties extended no further than fundraising for their cohorts abroad and instilling the fervour of JI teachings, including those of firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Bashir.
Abdul Rochman Ayub was deported from Australia on immigration irregularities. His brother, who fled to Indonesia in the days after the Bali bombings, remains on the run.
Hambali is being held at a US military base on the Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia. Nearby are two more of the world’s most dangerous men, al-Qa’ida’s chief of operations Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and confessed September 11 organiser Ramzi bin-al-Shibh.
The CIA would not allow Australian officials direct access to Hambali and have so far not permitted officials from his homeland of Indonesia to visit him.
However, the US ambassador to Indonesia, Ralph Boyce, this week indicated the US was “seriously considering” reversing the latter decision.
Hambali was captured in Thailand in August last year. Until then he had been JI’s director of operations and the most wanted man in the region. He allegedly gave the go-ahead for the Bali bombings, which killed 202 people.