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Singapore predicts terror attacks

Tue., April 19, 2005

SINGAPORE – A letter written by a member of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah terror network said the group is planning an attack similar to the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, a top Singaporean official said.

Minister of Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng said Indonesian authorities obtained the letter, but he did not elaborate further. Indonesia seized some documents after a suicide car bombing at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in September that killed 10, but it was unclear if the letter was among them.

“A letter recovered in Indonesia, written by a JI member, said that 12 operatives were ready to be martyrs and that plans for a Bali-style attack were underway,” Wong said in a speech Monday evening to intelligence officials.

Wong said the letter reflected efforts of terrorists to overcome setbacks and stay a step ahead of the law by using different forms of communication.

“In order to communicate clandestinely, terrorists exploited the anonymity of prepaid phone cards and the Internet. However, when they suspected that these communications were being monitored and their activities and operatives compromised, they reverted to couriers and old fashion letter-writing,” Wong said.

He also said terrorist groups have begun to use Caucasians and converts to Islam who do not fit stereotypical terrorist profiles.


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