View Full Version : Inside Al'Qaeda controversy: Have Dr M's kind of courage
26-10-2002, 08:54 AM
<font size="+1">Inside Al'Qaeda controversy:
How Dr M was almost misled by goons around him.</font>
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Rais Yatim’s suggested that the government take legal action against Inside Al Qaeda author Rohan Gunaratna.
<img src="http://www.usj.com.my/LifeStyle/getdata.php3?table=LifeStyle&id=399" align="left"> Several Barisan Nasional and other cabinet ministers and leaders are baying for his blood for "linking the Barisan Nasional" to the al-Qaeda.
Even bookstores have removed the book from their shelves, as if people can't read it elsewhere in this age of information-on-tap.
It is also amusing to note that the book has been in circulation for the last few months but no one - especially those who chest-beat their role in guarding our country's security - have uttered even a word before.
The question is: Have all the critics read the book?
Dr M has. He did it with courage expected of any spirited Malaysian.
<a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/200210230017926.php"target="new">October 23</a>, Dr Mahathir Mohamad conceded that author Dr Rohan Gunaratna did not link the Barisan Nasional directly to al-Qaeda in his book, he ruled out the possibility of making peace with the offended author.
Mahathir said he found after reading the book that BN was not linked to al-Qaeda but only to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a southern Philippines separatist group.
"The thing is, the (link) was made in the United Nations report and attributed to (Gunaratna's) book.
"But [u]we have to study the book carefully. I read it during the cabinet meeting this morning[/b] and I found that he linked BN with MILF. Even PAS was linked with the MILF," he said.
26-10-2002, 09:06 AM
October 25 , 2002 12:33PM
<FONT SIZE="+1">Gunaratna May Be Asked To Explain BN-MILF Links</FONT>
Author To Hold Dialogue In KL
By Ahmad Fuad Yahya
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 (Bernama) -- Questions on the ideological and political links said to exist between the Barisan Nasional and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will be raised during a dialogue session with terrorism expert Dr Rohan Gunaratna at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) of Malaysia next month.
<IMG SRC="http://www.commonwealthclub.org/images/gunaratna2.jpg" ALIGN="LEFT"><-- Rohan Gunaratna... The author whom Dr M calls an "apple-polisher".
ISIS Director-General Datuk Mohamed Jawhar Hassan said the dialogue would provide an opportunity for invited guests to raise this matter with the author of the book "Inside Al-Qaeda: Global Network of Terror" and also ask him about the sources of the information contained in his book.
Mohamed Jawhar nevertheless said, the dialogue session with Gunaratna on "Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia: The Threat and Response" was not organised because of the controversy the book had raised here but was one of the routine functions organised by the ISIS.
He said the talk and dialogue scheduled for Nov 21 and 22 at the ISIS here would be attended by 15 to 20 invited guests comprising academics and senior national security officials who had an interest in the subject.
"The ISIS invited Dr Gunaratna long before the issue about his book became a big talking point."
Mohamed Jawhar said what had become an issue and a concern to the BN and the Government of Malaysia was the annexe forwarded by a UN Select Committee to the UN Security Council.
The annexe called "Al-Qaeda: Southeast Asian Front", had a chart of the Al-Qaeda network which was said to have links with the MILF which in turn had ideological and political links with several organisations in Malaysia including the Barisan Nasional.
The annexe stated that the chart was with courtesy from the book "Inside Al-Qaeda: Global Network of Terror" written by Dr Rohan Gunaratna.
Mohamed Jawhar said the chart was not contained in Dr Gunaratna's book.
"As far as we know, the book is published in Malaysia by one entity and by another entity in the United States. The one published in Malaysia does not have the chart and probably the one in the US also does not have the chart."
"Hence the chart was probably drawn up by the UN Security Council committee itself and then linked it to the book. The chart does not provide an accurate picture and this is the issue," he said. -- BERNAMA
Read the full story at:
26-10-2002, 09:11 AM
<font size="+1">And Dr M says it again...</font>
October 25 , 2002 22:37PM
Dr M Disappointed Over Germany's Highest Caution Alert On M'sia
...Asked whether the government would allow controversial Sri Lankan researcher Dr Rohan Gunaratna into the country to give a talk at a function organised by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies here next month, the prime minister said this would be the case.
"We have nothing against him. We have studied his book; he did not say what we alleged that he said," he said.
Read the full story at:
26-11-2002, 07:24 AM
3:44pm Mon Nov 25th, 2002
<FONT SIZE="+1">Author says US travel alert based on probe of al-Qaeda suspect</FONT>
Yap Mun Ching
exclusive The United States travel warning last week specifically naming
Malaysia may have been based on credible information secured during the
interrogation of a recently detained al-Qaeda suspect.
Author of Inside al-Qaeda: Global network of terror Dr Rohan Gunaratna said
the US may have singled out Malaysia because of specific information
gathered from Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.
Abd al-Rahim, who is said to be the terror network's top leader in the Gulf,
is now in the custody of US authorities.
"I think the US warning must be taken seriously. It is because the warning
was based on credible information," said the author in an interview with
malaysiakini last Friday.
However, Rohan said that US authorities should have first discussed their
findings privately with Malaysia before issuing the travel alert.
"Today, the threat of terrorism is not only in Malaysia. It is wrong on the
part of any government to single out any particular country.
"The threat of terrorism in Malaysia is equal to that in the US," he added.
Terrorist once based in Malaysia
Rohan also pointed out that Abd al-Rahim was listed in his book as Abdul
Rehman Hussain Muhammad al-Safani, a terrorist suspect said to have been
based in Malaysia during the Sept 11 attacks.
"I mentioned in my book that this man was in charge of the Gulf operations,
targetting South Asia, and that he was also based in Malaysia," he said.
Abd al-Rahim is said to be arrested in Kuwait in recent weeks but this has
not been confirmed by the authorities.
The Singapore-based Rohan was in Kuala Lumpur last week to give a close-door
lecture to "senior government officials" at the Institute of Strategic and
Last month, his book was at the centre of a controversy when the United
Nations monitoring group of the Afghan Sanctions Committee named it as the
source of a chart linking several Malaysian organisations, including Barisan
Nasional and PAS, to al-Qaeda via their connection with the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF), a southern Philippines separatist group.
However, leaders of the two political parties later clarified that the
al-Qaeda link was made by the UN team and not the author, and had since
sought a retraction from the monitoring group.
26-11-2002, 07:36 AM
4:28pm Mon Nov 25th, 2002
<FONT SIZE="+1">Rohan: M'sia targeted by al-Qaeda since January</FONT>
Yap Mun Ching
Terrorism researcher Dr Rohan Gunaratna was the target of strong criticism
from Malaysian leaders when his book, Inside al-Qaeda: Global network of
terrorism, was cited as the source of a United Nations report linking
Barisan Nasional with al-Qaeda via ties with a southern Filipino separatist
However, Rohan stands by his assertions, describing his book as a "bold
statement" which no one had disputed.
Here last Friday to speak at the invitation of Institute of Strategic and
International Studies (Isis), he shares with malaysiakini some of his
findings about the real threat of terrorism in the region, particularly
Last week, the US issued a warning that al-Qaeda's next target is Malaysia
but police have said that it is baseless. So how real is this threat?
I think the US warning must be taken seriously. It is because the US warning
is based on credible information. However, the US that considers Malaysia as
an ally should have discussed this matter privately first with Malaysia
before issuing a public warning.
Today the threat of terrorism is not only in Malaysia. It is affecting the
whole region. It is wrong on the part of any government to single out any
particular country. The threat of terrorism in Malaysia is equal to that in
Why do you think the US singled out Malaysia?
I think it was based on specific information.
Is this information related to the al-Qaeda operative (Abd al-Rahim
al-Nashiri) who is now in the custody of the US authorities?
Yes. (The) suspect was living in Malaysia. In my book, I mentioned that this
man was in charge of the Gulf operations targeting South Asia and he was
based in Malaysia.
In your book, you attribute some findings to newspaper articles, books and
interviews with intelligence officials. How much reliance can you place on
the press reports or information in the books?
I have verified the reports that I have referred to in my book. No one has
made a dispute of the (information). Malaysia initially (thought) that I
linked the Barisan Nasional to al-Qaeda but the prime minister (Dr Mahathir
Mohamad) later (acknowledged) that I haven't done that.
You said several individuals from political parties in Malaysia including
the Barisan Nasional had ideological and political links to the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF). Do you know who these individuals are?
Absolutely. I have discussed it with the Malaysian government soon after the
issue (arose). I spoke with government officials in detail about the
individuals that I have referred to and there is no dispute about it.
There is a long history of Malaysia's role in trying to resolve the dispute
in the Philippines between the Moros and the government. So naturally there
has been some contact.
That is clear but whether al-Qaeda has infiltrated MILF.
Al-Qaeda's infiltration of MILF is beyond dispute. We all know that. We know
that many JI members went to train in MILF camps. There is no one who knows
the field who say that al-Qaeda and MILF are not linked.
Everyone knows that all the JI members were trained in al-Qaeda camps. Omar
al-Faruq who is in American custody now but arrested in Indonesia was the
Emir (leader) of Camp Vietnam in Mindanao which is in MILF. No one disputes
Are the Malaysian individuals aware of the link between al-Qaeda and MILF?
That I do not know. I only said that certain individuals in BN have links
with MILF. That's the only thing I said.
What do you think is necessary for governments to link all
al-Qaeda-related events happening around the world?
Governments must come together and consider four practices:
They must build common databases to track terrorists between the
There should be exchange of personnel;
They should share technology; and
They should undertake joint training, joint operations, and share their
Do you think by allowing the (anti-terrorism) centre to be set up here, Malaysia is tacitly
conceding that there is a serious concern that Malaysia may be a regional
base of al-Qaeda?
Malaysia is already a target of al-Qaeda. In mid-January 2002, Hambali
proposed to Mohamad Mansor Jabarar to target bars, restaurants and
nightclubs in a number of countries which included Malaysia.
Tomorrow: Rohan on al-Qaeda's links with JI and the Bali bombings.
27-11-2002, 07:17 AM
2:14pm Tue Nov 26th, 2002
<FONT SIZE="+1">Pre-emptive action needed to counter terror, says expert</FONT>
Yap Mun Ching
In the second and final part of an interview with malaysiakini, terrorism
expert Dr Rohan Gunaratna - who was in Kuala Lumpur on Friday to speak at
the invitation of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies
(Isis) - outlines the necessary steps to put terrorist organisations 'out of
You mentioned that if Malaysia had taken pre-emptive action in arresting
the Sept 11 terrorists, the attacks in the US may not have happened. Isn't
that a dangerous thing to do since it might allow governments to make
pre-emptive arrests very easily?
Yes, but I also believe that terrorism today has moved from a tactical
threat to a strategic threat. Tactical threat (refers to the time) when
terrorist groups were considered a nuisance and a law and order problem.
They didn't mount big attacks like Sept 11.
Now, it is a strategic threat, a big threat, so you have no option but to
take pre-emptive strikes against terrorist organisations because terrorists
want to kill more people and conduct mass casualties.
If there is a high threat of terrorist attacks then I think pre-emptive
actions are justified. If you know that your twin towers are going to be
attacked it is better to take a pre-emptive step.
But no one really knows if it is for real, it is always a warning.
That is why you need to develop high grade, high quality intelligence. You
need to invest more.
Do you think it is fair that the US continues to put so much pressure on
Malaysia despite the multiple arrests of suspected terrorists here?
You can't blame the Malaysians, you can't blame the Filipinos or the
Singaporeans. These organisations are invisible organisations. They have
lived in the US for two years before they mounted 9/11. The Americans can't
blame any of these countries.
They are equally guilty because for years, al-Qaeda has been raising money
in the US. Osama bin Laden purchased his satellite telephone in New York. He
purchased his plane from the US. People think that I may be trying to
promote US (views), but no, I have said all this.
No one can point the finger at Malaysia or at any country because whenever
Malaysia got to know about al-Qaeda, Malaysia took action. Malaysia has a
zero-tolerance policy. The only thing is that these groups were active in
this country below the intelligence radar screen without coming into
Based on your research, why do you think a number of rich elites, who are
educated in Western countries, get involved in al-Qaeda?
The Islamists movements are recruiting across the spectrum, the rich, the
poor, the educated, the less educated, the recent converts, the cradle
Muslims, the new converts. They are operating across the spectrum.
For instance, Osama bin Laden comes from one of the richest non-royal Saudi
families. Ayman al-Zawahiri comes from one of the most educated Egyptian
But at the same time you find very poor people in al-Qaeda. They are
recruiting from a very wide range.
What is driving them is ideology - the belief system to wage a universal
jihad. It is not poverty, not lack of education. People become more
vulnerable if they are poor and if there is lack of education but the real
motivation for them to join this group is ideology.
That is why we have to do more counter-propaganda.
Would you say that a large part of the solution lies in the hands of
Western governments seeing that a common grievance is the US' role in
supporting Israel and what the Israelis do to the Palestinians?
Unless a resolution is found for that conflict, no matter what other
measures are tried, they will not be truly effective.
In the last chapter of my book (Inside al-Qaeda: Global Network of Terror),
I have said that the Palestinian and the Kashimiri conflict must be
resolved. Otherwise, there is a continuous flow of support and recruits. But
for that, countries like Malaysia must put maximum pressure on the US.
Countries like Malaysia are small (and have limited influence).
No, Malaysia is a very important partner today in the game. It is becoming
Influential and important (world) leaders must try to understand what is
happening and they must try to work with the Muslim communities and Muslim
leaders and send violent Islamism out of fashion.
10-01-2003, 06:24 AM
STRAITS TIMES Singapore
Friday, January 10, 2003
<font size="+1">UN retracts allegation linking BN to Al-Qaeda</font>
It has removed a report on its official website that showed the two linked through the Moro Islamic Liberation Front of the Philippines
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations has retracted an allegation in one of its reports that Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional had links with the Al-Qaeda terror network.
Checks on its official website revealed that Annex IV in the Second Report of the Monitoring Group has been taken off.
Annex IV contained a chart depicting the ruling coalition's alleged link to the terrorist network through the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), based in southern Philippines.
The website now carries a letter from UN sanctions committee chairman Alfonso Valdivieso referring to a recommendation by its monitoring group for the annex to be removed.
10-01-2003, 01:04 PM
Justice and common sense finially prevails!
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