Thursday, November 10, 2005

Azahari's Death - Aussie Input!

Indon National Police chief General Sutanto confirmed that 3 terrorist militants blew themselves up following a shoot-out with police squad. However, he stated that full confirmation of Azahari's death will only be ascertained today, through the use of DNA and enlisting the help of witnesses who know Azahari.

He mentioned that Suwandi, a man arrested in the raid, confirmed that Azahari was killed. Suwandi, a Javanese has been a recent recruit of Azahari.

According to Sutanto, the police conducted the raid on Wednesday following the arrest of a man identified by his initials as CH in Semarang. CH led the police to Azahari's hideout in Batu. The terrorists refused to surrender leading to the shootup, where a police officer was wounded.

Sutanto counted 11 explosions after the gunfight. He believed that the last blast appeared to have been the one for Azahari’s final exit from this world. Besides Azahari, one of the three men killed was the bloke who had assembled the bomb that exploded in Bali’s Raja's bar and restaurant in Kuta on 01st October.

While Indon police didn’t mention it, a group of Aussie police were also there, providing intelligence and technical support to the local authority.

In fact the Indon police were able to trace Azahari because of Aussie intelligence inputs obtained through sophisticated telephone interception. The Aussies tracked Azahari and Noordin Top across Indonesia by monitoring sporadic mobile phone signals from the terror group, Jemaah Islamiah. It seems the JI is not very smart afterall.

Apart from eavesdropping intelligence, the Aussies also provided forensic expertise to support the Indons shift through the evidence and track down where Azahari and his followers were. The hunt has now shifted to Noordin, who still remains at large.

The Aussies, US and British have helped set up the headquarters and training ground in Semarang for the Indon anti-terror police unit known as Detachment 88.

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