THERE are many candidates for the top Jemaah Islamiah (JI) job since the arrest of Hambali, but the nomination of Malaysian geophysics professor Azahari bin Husin as his successor would be a surprise, regional experts said. Time magazine reports in its latest issue that Hambali has told his interrogators that his replacement is Azahari, who trained in Afghanistan and wrote the manual on bomb-making for the JI. The magazine based its report on information from regional intelligence officials, who are not named. The Malaysian militant has also been named as the likely successor by other media. But some of those tracking the JI believe Azahari does not fit the bill. He was a specialist who improved the group’s lethal capabilities and could plan and direct operations, but did not have the potential to lead the regional terror network, they say. Full Story
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