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Inquiry Shows Indonesian's Ties to Al Qaeda

Long before he achieved notoriety as Hambali, the most wanted Islamic militant in Southeast Asia, the man was known to his neighbors in this village as a youngster who idealized America. He dreamed of rocketing into space like lunar pioneer Neil Armstrong, of visiting the United States and seeing its powerful computers. “At that time, America was the image of status, the most advanced in technology,” said a former classmate, Ujang Iskandar. “He kept saying, ‘I want to travel around the world and see for myself and decide.’ “But over time, Hambali came to view the United States as a major cause of the Muslim world’s problems. He moved deeper and deeper into radical Islamic groups, and today the 38-year-old cleric is sought by police worldwide as the prime leader of al Qaeda in Southeast Asia. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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