Bali, October 2002
From the Herald Sun, with thanks to Nicolei:
SUSPECTED links between Jemaah Islamiah, the terror group responsible for the Bali bombings, and the Madrid train bombers are being investigated by British police.
If confirmed, the news would add credence to claims by terror experts that the Madrid bombers may have trained in JI-linked terrorist camps in central Indonesia.
The British investigation was launched after Spanish news agency Efe reported that seven Islamic terrorists involved in the Madrid train bombings telephoned a JI operative and a jailed radical Muslim cleric in London’s Belmarsh prison shortly before they blew themselves up last month.
Surrounded by police in a flat in Leganes, south Madrid, on April 3, the terrorists reportedly placed three calls to the phone of Britain’s suspected al-Qa’ida chief Abu Qatada, and also made calls to Indonesia to “someone in the milieu” of JI spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir.
The men, mostly from Morocco, who soon afterwards blew themselves up, were reportedly seeking authorisation to commit suicide, the report said. …
The alleged leader of Spain’s al-Qa’ida cell, Abu Dahdah, visited Poso in central Indonesia in May 2001 according to a recent report by JI expert Sydney Jones, director of the Jakarta office of the International Crisis Group.
In an interview in March, Ms Jones told The Australian there was “clearly close contact” between al-Qa’ida and JI and that Spanish al-Qa’ida operatives were trained in terrorist camps in Indonesia.
“It goes back to at least late 2000, maybe before,” she said. “The whole reason that Poso came to international attention was because Spanish authorities arrested al-Qa’ida operatives who said they had been trained in Poso.”
Indonesian police found two copies of the Koran in Spanish, another Spanish book and 26 Spanish business cards in raids on JI’s bomb factory in Semarang in central Java last year.