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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 July, 2003, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
Jakarta trial told of terror web
Ahmad Sajuli bin Adbul Rahman
Mr Rahman was testifying from Malaysia, where he is in detention
Islamic militant groups in South East Asia are linked together across the region, an Indonesian court has heard.

A terror suspect testifying in the trial of Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir said there were connections between Jemaah Islamiah, the group suspected of the Bali bombing, and Muslim groups in the Philippines and Thailand.

Ahmad Sajuli bin Adbul Rahman, a member of JI who was giving evidence via video-link from Malaysia, said he had sent fellow militants for training in the Philippines and Afghanistan.

INDONESIA'S TERROR TRIALS
Amrozi
Trial began on 12 May
Accused of providing the van and bombs used in the attacks.
Imam Samudra
Trial began on 2 June
Accused of planning the attacks.
Mukhlas (Ali Gufron)
Trial began on 16 June
Accused of being the 'mastermind' behind the attacks
Also said to be operations chief of regional militant group Jemaah Islamiah (JI).
Abu Bakar Ba'asyir
On trial for series of church bombings in 2000.
Often linked to Bali bombings as he is accused of being JI's spiritual leader

Mr Rahman echoed last week's testimony by three other witnesses, in saying that the elderly cleric became the head of JI following the death of the previous leader, Abdullah Sugkar, in 1999.

Mr Ba'asyir is on trial for his alleged role in church bombings in 2000 and for allegedly planning to overthrow the government to establish an Islamic state.

He denies any wrongdoing, or that JI even exists. The group is agitating for an Islamic state across South East Asia.

Mr Rahman said that JI's operations chief at the time, Hambali, had ordered the church bombings, but that Mr Ba'asyir would have approved the attacks.

"An emir's approval is always sought," he said.

Both Mr Rahman and Agung Diyadi, another witness testifying from Malaysia, said that JI had also been involved in a Muslim-Christian war on Indonesia's Maluku islands, where about 10,000 people were killed between 1999 and 2002.

Mr Diyadi, an Indonesian, said, however, that he had no knowledge of any plans by Mr Ba'asyir to overthrow the Indonesian Government.

He said JI gave "assistance to oppressed people and military assistance to fight people who oppress Muslims".

Asked where, he replied: "The Malukus, Poso and the Philippines."

Poso in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province has also been the scene of Muslim-Christian clashes.

The southern Philippines is home to a Muslim insurgency and Islamic militants that have been linked to al-Qaeda.

Militants in the Philippines are believed to have established terror training camps on remote islands.

Mr Ba'asyir sat reading a copy of the Koran during Thursday's trial. His lawyers, who have disputed the use of witnesses from abroad, boycotted the hearing.


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