Skip to comments.Aussies hunting terrorists
Posted on 10/08/2005 11:42:07 AM PDT by LibWhacker
AUSTRALIAN agents and SAS troops have joined the hunt for senior terrorists in the Philippines.
Australian agents are co-operating with Filipino soldiers in the search for Jemaah Islamiah figures, a former ASIO agent told the Sunday Herald Sun.
The two JI figures suspected of being behind the Bali blasts, Dr Azahari Husin and Noordin Top, are believed to have returned to Indonesia from the Philippines to take part in last week's attacks.
But Australian agents are searching for another bomb maker, Dulmatin, who remains in the Philippines - and they will be waiting should Top and Husin return.
The former ASIO agent said capturing Husin and Top had become a priority for the region's intelligence chiefs.
"The SAS and ASIS have been on the ground in the Philippines with US Special Forces and local commandos looking for these guys," the source said.
"They are public enemies one and two. They were behind both Bali bombings and the attacks on the Marriott Hotel and our embassy.
"We have people there with the Americans and Filipinos who are hunting Husin and Top. Our guys are serious people. They are not there to be observers."
An Indonesian source said Husin, JI's chief bomb maker, was thought to have been in Bali last Saturday when three suicide bombers killed 22 people. The source said yesterday: "Husin likes to be in the vicinity of the bombs to ensure everything goes to plan and to watch his handiwork. He has done that in the past and it's highly possible he has done that this time."
Indonesian police are intensifying their efforts to capture Husin, 48, and Top, 35. The pair have been implicated in the first Bali bombings in October 2002, which killed 202 people, and blasts at the J.W. Marriott Hotel and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.
Husin studied engineering at Adelaide University and in Britain. His nickname is "Demolition Man". He is an associate of Osama bin Laden and has strong links to al-Qaida.
Police believe they missed nabbing Top, JI's chief recruiter, by only hours in central Java on Friday. Abdul Madjid, a police chief in the city of Solo, said authorities had received a tip that Top was hiding in Purwantoro, a district of central Java.
Police delayed the raid for several hours because they feared Top might be armed with explosives. About 20 officers moved in about 4am, but were told Top had fled about three hours earlier.
The situation was similar to a bungled raid in the Java highlands two years ago when Top and Husin slipped past more than 1000 police officers. Such escapes have prompted speculation that someone in the Indonesian police is tipping off the terrorists. But police spokesman Soenarko Danu Ardanto denied this.
"Solo police got information and we were all into the field," he said. "The operation is still going on. It could not be that there is a leak among police."
Meanwhile, the bodies of three Australians killed in the blasts were scheduled to arrive home early today and the fourth could be home by this evening. The bodies of Colin and Fiona Zwolinski and Jennifer Williamson, from Newcastle, were due to arrive in Sydney at 6.45am today.
The fourth Australian victim, Brendan Fitzgerald, 16, from WA, will be flown home after he is formally identified using DNA testing.
Australia...the next target? They are also a staunch US ally.
Kick radical muzzie arse!
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