RealNews

Chance provided key to finding Hambali

The chance discovery of a key in the pocket of a close aide led police to Hambali, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, according to Thai media reports yesterday. The Nation newspaper said Thai authorities had not been looking for Hambali, the senior al-Qa’ida figure in South-east Asia and alleged mastermind of numerous bomb attacks in the region. They found him by accident after arresting a Malaysian man suspected of being an al-Qa’ida associate or sympathiser. That man was a “small potato”, according to security sources in Thailand. But questioning of him led to the arrest of another Malaysian, known as Li-Li, who was believed to be a senior al-Qa’ida member and close to Hambali, an Indonesian cleric also known as Riduan Isamuddin. Li-Li refused to talk to his interrogators but they found in his pocket a door key with a tag bearing the name of an apartment block in Ayutthaya, an ancient temple city 50 miles north of Bangkok. Li-Li then revealed that Hambali, former operations chief of Jemaah Islamiyah, al-Qa’ida’s South-east Asian offshoot, was living in the block. Thai and US agents swooped on Hambali’s one-room flat in the newly built block and took him away after a violent struggle. Full Story

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