Hambali, who has been involved in many Asian terrorist adventures, has been charged in Cambodia. From AP, with thanks to Nicolei:
Asia’s top terror suspect, Hambali, and eight other alleged Muslim militants were charged yesterday with attempted murder in an unspecified terrorist plot to bomb targets in Cambodia.
A Cambodian court levelled the charges against Hambali and three others in absentia midway through the trial of five men who were arrested last year for allegedly training terrorists and planning attacks in the country.
Though the five were originally charged with terrorism, Judge Ya Sokhan changed the charge to ‘attempted premeditated murder with the goal of terrorism’ after a defence attorney argued that Cambodia had no anti-terrorism law.
The five men were ordered to remain in detention pending a new trial. No date was set.
In another surprising twist, the judge said Hambali and three others – identified only as Ibrahim, Zaid and Zakariya – faced the same charges.
It was the first time their names were mentioned in connection with the case.
Prosecutor Yet Chakriya told the court that all the suspects were ‘plotting a plan to cause explosion, destruction of property and human life’ in Cambodia.
He did not elaborate, and officials would not give details about the alleged plot.
The attempted murder charge carries a life imprisonment sentence – the same as the earlier terrorism charge. . . .
Hambali, an Indonesian whose real name is Riduan Isamuddin, is said to be a key leader of the Jemaah Islamiah, Al-Qaeda’s South-east Asian arm. He is believed to have spent several months in Cambodia last year and reportedly used the country as a staging ground from which to launch regional terror attacks. He was arrested in Thailand last August and is now in US custody.
It was not immediately clear where Ibrahim, Zaid and Zakariya were or what they were accused of doing.
The suspects present in court yesterday were Esam Mohammed Khidr Ali of Egypt, Abdul Azi Haji Chiming and Muhammad Yalaludin Mading of Thailand and Sman Ismael of Cambodia. Another Egyptian, Rousha Yasser, 33, also known as Yasser Elsayed Mohamed, is a fugitive.
Their trial stemmed from their membership of the Umm Al-Qura group, which operated a Saudi-funded Islamic school outside Phnom Penh.
Prosecutors accused them of using the school as a cover for training terrorists and planning attacks against Western interests in Cambodia.