Bali bombers 'would testify against Hambali'
From correspondents in Jakarta
March 10, 2009 02:54pm
BALI bombers Ali Imron and Mubarok said they would testify against alleged terrorist mastermind Hambali if he's returned to Indonesia after the United States closes Guantanamo Bay prison camp.
The Jemaah Islamiah terrorists, serving long prison sentences for their roles in the 2002 Bali bombings and other attacks, have told local media they would be prepared to testify to Hambali's involvement in the deadly Christmas Eve bombings in Indonesia in 2000.
Imron - brother of Bali bomber Amrozi, who was executed in November - told the Jakarta Globe Hambali financed and organised the bombings of Christian churches and homes, which killed 18 people.
"Hambali's role in the Christmas Eve terror was to trigger our desire to wage jihad against non-believers," Imron is quoted as telling the newspaper from his jail cell in Jakarta.
"He was the mastermind of the church bombings."
But Imron and Mubarok said they had no information about whether Hambali was involved in the Bali bombings, despite claims he masterminded them, too.
Both men have renounced terrorism and have been helping authorities in the fight against militant Islam for several years.
Hambali is accused of being the main linkman between al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah, the terrorist group blamed for the Bali blasts that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Hambali was captured in Thailand in 2003 and has been detained by the US at the Guantanamo Bay prison, in Cuba, for several years.
In January, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the prison within a year, prompting speculation Hambali would be returned to Indonesia to stand trial.
But Indonesia's foreign affairs ministry last week said the government had not decided whether it wanted Hambali returned to its soil after the prison's closed.