Witness: Aussie dollars funded blast

JAKARTA: One of South-East Asia's most wanted Islamic militants used Australian dollars to fund the deadly bombing of Canberra's embassy in this Indonesian capital last year, a witness told a court yesterday. 

Ahmad Hasan, a witness in the trial of one of the key suspects and himself a defendant, said Malaysian fugitive Noordin Mohd Top had given him A$9,700 (RM28,200) for the bombing. 

“On the operational funds for the Australian embassy bombing, the funds were given by Khalid, alias Noordin Mohd Top. Khalid ordered me in Surabaya to change A$9,700 to rupiah and we got 63 million rupiah,” Hasan, also known as Purnomo, said in testimony. 

It was not clear where the money came from or why it was in Australian dollars. 

Hasan said another Malaysian, Azahari Husin, accused by police of masterminding the blast that killed 10 people on Sept 9, ordered him and the defendant on trial, identified as Rois, to scout out the embassy site and drive the explosives-laden van into this capital. 

Azahari also gave them explosives to blow themselves up if they were caught, Hasan said. 

“The Australian embassy always helps Indonesia too much against terrorists and to capture the holy fighters,” he said. 

Azahari and Noordin are still at large.  

They are accused of being important members of Jemaah Islamiah, a South-East Asian group seen as al-Qaeda's regional arm. – Reuters  

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