WASHINGTON – An Indonesian whom U.S. authorities have linked to a Southeast Asia terror group blamed for the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings told a military hearing he had no association with Al Qaeda.
Riduan Isamuddin, who told the tribunal he preferred to be called Hambali, also said he had no knowledge of other terrorist plots he is accused of orchestrating as the alleged operations chief of the Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional terror group considered responsible for the Oct. 12, 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.
He appeared before a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, an administrative hearing, at Guantanamo Bay on April 4, as one of 14 "high value" detainees transferred there last September after being held at secret CIA prisons abroad. Reporters are not permitted access to the hearings; a U.S. government transcript of the unclassified portion of Isamuddin's hearing was released by the Pentagon on Thursday.
The Pentagon also released the transcript of a hearing for Ali al-Azia Ali, also known as Ammar al-Baluchi, who is accused by U.S. authorities of helping arrange financing for at least one of the Sept. 11 hijackers. Ali said he is an ordinary businessman who has family ties to alleged terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed but is not part of al-Qaida or other terrorist groups.