Who was Behind the 2002 Bali Bomb Attack?
The following text was first published by Global Research in the months following the October 2002 Bali Bombing. It was part of a longer article entitled Fabricating an Enemy http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO301B.html, (This text is also contained in my book America’s “War on Terrorism”, Global Research, September 2005.
The recent interview of former President A. Wahid now provides new evidence regarding the role of Indonesian military intelligence (BIN).
Both the US and Australian police and intelligence authorities involved in 2002 Bali investigation turned a blind eye on the links between BIN and Jemaah Islamiah (JI). BIN was in fact involved in the October 2002 investigation together with its US and Australian counterrparts
Michel Chossudovsky, !4 October 2005
The Bali attack in the Kuta seaside resort resulted in close to 200 deaths, mainly Australian tourists. The bomb attack was allegedly perpetrated by Jemaah Islamiah, a group, which operates in several countries in South East Asia. Press reports and official statements point to close ties between Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and Al Qaeda. The JI’s “operational leader” is Riduan Isamuddin, alias Hambali, a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan war, who was trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to a report by UPI:
“The [Soviet-Afghan] war provided opportunities for key figures of these groups, who went to Afghanistan, to experience firsthand the glory of jihad. Many of the radicals detained in Singapore and Malaysia derived their ideological inspiration from the activities of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan” 20
What the report fails to mention is that the training of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan was a CIA sponsored initiative launched under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, using Pakistan’s ISI as a go-between.
JI’s links to Indonesia’s Military Intelligence
There are indications, that in addition to its alleged links to Al Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiah also has links to Indonesia’s military intelligence, which in turn has links to the CIA and Australian intelligence.
The links between JI and Indonesia’s Intelligence Agency (BIN) are acknowledged by the International Crisis Group (ICG):
“This link [of JI to the BIN] needs to be explored more fully: it does not necessarily mean that military intelligence was working with JI, but it does raise a question about the extent to which it knew or could have found out more about JI than it has acknowledged.” 1 (International Crisis Group, http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/showreport.cfm?reportid=845 , 2003)
The ICG, however, fails to mention that Indonesia’s intelligence apparatus has for more than 30 years been controlled by the CIA.
In the wake of the October 2002 Bali bombing, a contradictory report emanating from Indonesia’s top brass, pointed to the involvement of both the head of Indonesian intelligence General A. M. Hendropriyono as well as the CIA:
“The agency and its director, Gen. A. M. Hendropriyono, are well regarded by the United States and other governments. But there are still senior intelligence officers here who believe that the C.I.A. was behind the bombing.”2
In response to these statements, the Bush Administration demanded that President Megawati Sukarnoputri, publicly refute the involvement of the U.S in the attacks. No official retraction was issued. Not only did President. Megawati remained silent on this matter, she also accused the US of being:
“a superpower that forced the rest of the world to go along with it… We see how ambition to conquer other nations has led to a situation where there is no more peace unless the whole world is complying with the will of the one with the power and strength.” 3
Meanwhile, the Bush Administration, had used the Bali attacks to prop up its fear campaign:
“President Bush said Monday that he assumes al-Qaeda was responsible for the deadly bombing in Indonesia and that he is worried about fresh attacks on the United States.” 4
The news [regarding the Bali attack] came as US intelligence officials warned that more attacks like the Indonesian bombing can be expected in the next few months, in Europe, the Far East or the US.”5
The links of JI to the Indonesian intelligence agency were never raised in the official Indonesian government investigation –which was guided behind the scenes by Australian intelligence and the CIA.
Moreover, shortly after the bombing, Australian Prime Minister John Howard “admitted that Australian authorities were warned about possible attacks in Bali but chose not to issue a warning.”6 Also In the wake of the bombings, the Australian government chose to work with Indonesia’s Special Forces the Kopassus, in the so-called “war on terrorism”.
Australia: “Useful Wave of Indignation”
Reminiscent of Operation Northwoods, the Bali attack served to trigger “a useful wave of indignation.”7 They contributed to swaying Australian public opinion in favour of the US invasion of Iraq, while weakening the anti-war protest movement. In the wake of the Bali attack, the Australian government “officially” joined the US-led “war on terrorism.” It has not only used the Bali bombings as a pretext to fully integrate the US-UK military axis, it has also adopted drastic police measures including “ethnic profiling” directed against its own citizens:
Prime Minister John Howard made the extraordinary declaration recently that he is prepared to make pre-emptive military strikes against terrorists in neighbouring Asian countries planning to attack Australia. Australian intelligence agencies also are very worried about the likelihood of an al-Qaeda attack using nuclear weapons.8
Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), He is the author of a America’s “War on Terrorism”, Global Research, September 2005.
1. International Crisis Group, Indonesia Backgrounder: How The Jemaah Islamiyah Terrorist Network Operates, http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/showreport.cfm?reportid=845 , 2003
2, Raymond Bonner and Jane Perlez, More Attacks on Westerners Are Expected in Indonesia, New York Times, 25 November 2002
3. Quoted in Raymond Bonner and Jane Perlez, op cit.
4. USA Today, 15 October 2002.
5. Business AM, 15 October 2002.
6. Christchurch Press, 22 November 2002), (Similar warnings were made by the CIA).
7. Operation Northwoods, op cit.
8. Insight on the News, 3 February 2003.