chapter  11
Border Security and Transnational Violence in Southeast Asia
Pages 16

On August 11, 2003, officers from the Thai Special Branch Police, with the assistance of the American Central Intelligence Agency, arrested Riduan Isamuddin, commonly known as Hambali, a man for whom they had been searching for several years and who was considered the top operational director of the Jemaah Islamiya (JI) terrorist group based in Southeast Asia. Authorities viewed Hambali's capture as a major victory not only because he was an instrumental leader in the Jemaah Islamiya terrorist organization, but also because he was a critical link between that organization and the larger al-Qaeda network. 1 In addition, Hambali had been linked, directly or indirectly, to virtually every major terrorist act in Southeast Asia within the past three years, including the attack in Bali, Indonesia, in October 2002. Furthermore, U.S. officials believe that he may have played a significant role in facilitating the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.