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Al Qaeda’s Network in Asia

Al Qaeda’s Asian team is made up of volunteers from Central Asia, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia. These are sent for advanced trg to Afghanistan.

Central Asia

With it’s base in Afghanistan Al Qaeda recruited hundreds of Central Asians – Uzbeks, Kazakhi, Tajiks and Turkmens. Muslims in these countries wanted to bring Islam in political power. Islamic preachers from the Gulf arrived to establish mosques and madrasas. Al Qaeda has helped the Tajik Islamists to topple Russian Backed Communist Govt.

South East Asia (Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia)

Al Qaeda has it’s links with 2 groups, the ASG and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). After the WTC bombing of Feb 93, Osama sent Ramzi Youssef to train the Abu Sayyaf terrorist Group (ASG) of Philipines. Foreign instructors have imparted specialised training to MILF.

ASG has conducted mass casualty attacks, bombed churches, murdered missionaries & kidnapped foreigners. In 1999-2000, Al Qaeda members came to Phillipines in guise of Islamic missionaries. To combat terrorism, the US has given Phillipines assistance in the form of intelligence & training after 9/11.

In 1994 Al Qaeda launched ‘Oplan Bojinka’ to assasinate Pope John Paul II, President Clinton (during their visits to Manila) and President Ramos, foreign Ambassadors. Plans to bomb churches, commercial centres, kidnap for ransom and raid banks were made.

Under Ramzi Yousef’s leadership, a plan was made to bomb 11 US commercial aircrafts flying over the Asia Pacific. This would have killed 4000 Americans. The timely arrest of Ramzi Yousef stopped the terrorists.

After 1995, the Filipino organizations funded Islamic terrorists.

Al Qaeda used Phillipines as a base and penetrated terrorist groups in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Due to the lack of a democratic government, Al Qaeda could not establish a base in Indonesia. Al Qaeda however worked closely with Indonesian muslims living in exile in Malaysia.

Al Qaeda infiltrated the JI (Jemaah Islamiyyah) an Indonesian group in 1990s. They recruited and trained their members in Singapore and thereafter sent them to Afghanistan for Special training in ambush, sniping and ‘field craft’. JI recruited women too in their organization, this was their peculiarity.

In Singapore, JI had 3 plans, to bomb a shuttle bus transporting US personnel, to bomb a US naval ship and to destroy 200 US companies employing Americans. However the plans failed as the top members were all arrested.

Indonesia is the most heavily populated muslim nation in the world. Al Qaeda conducted the millenium bombings on Christmas eve of 2000, as well as the bombings against 30 churches. Al Qaeda has training camps in Indonesia where 400-600 Indonesians were trained from 1996 to 2001. Pro-Osama demonstrations have been the largest in Indonesia.


China trained their Muslims Uighurs from Xinjiang to fight Russians in Afghanistan for dominance over the Karakoram Highway. The victorious Jihadis came back & started insurgency for independent Uighuristan. Al Qaeda camps trained Uighurs to fight Chinese Communists. Al Qaeda motivates the terrorist attacks. A series of attacks against targets in Xinjiang and Beijing were carried out. In Jan 2002, an Uighur terrorist carried out a suicide mission in China.

Thailand & Myanmar (Burma)

The Pattani United Liberation Organistan (PULO) is an Islamic organization. They are wanting a separate state in Southern Thailand. Shia groups along with Al Qaeda have planned attacks against US and Israeli establishments in Bangkok. Thailand has many safe houses for Al Qaida bases and is a procurement centre for foreign terrorists.

The Islamic Party of Myanmar is thought to be linked to Al Qaeda. In 1992, lakhs of muslims persecuted by authorities fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh. These may have joined the Al Qaeda.


Al Qaeda is working with organised crime mafiosos like Dawood Ibrahim, who conducts Indian Ops from Dubai. He is suspected of involvement in the Bombay blasts in March 1993 that killed 200 and injured 700. After the soviet withdrawal, Mujahideens from Afghanistan went to Kashmir to liberate their muslim brothers.


Al Qaeda has a large support base in Pakistan and training camps in Pakistan and Bangladesh. HUM and LeT have close associations with Al Qaeda, and their members have been trained at Al Qaida camps. JeM members are also trained by Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda encourages attacks on New Delhi instead of peripheral J&K. 200 members of Al Qaeda’s 055 Brigade were dispatched to J&K to fight the jihad.

Al Qaeda & Omar Sheikh

British born Omar Sheikh joined HuM in Pakistan and was trained by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Omar in 1994 captured an American and demanded release of Maulana Masood Azhar and others from the Indian government. He was captured in New Delhi.

HuM captured 6 westerners in Kashmir in 1995, and demanded release of all their militant brothers from India using the Western countries to put pressure on India. However no response was got from the respective governments.

The US government designated HuA and Al Faran as terrorist organizations in Oct 1997. Thereafter Harkat ul Ansari switched over to the name HuM.

In 1999, IC 814 was hijacked and the release of Maulana Masood and Omar Sheikh was demanded. The operation was successful and the released militants were whisked away with the hijackers to Afghanistan by the Taliban.

In 2001, Omar sheikh lured Daniel Pearl, a reporter of wall street Journal, via email for an interview with Sheikh Gilani, head of an Islamic group. He kidnapped him and demanded release of the Al Qaeda prisoners in American custody at Camp X-ray. He was brutally murdered and this was captured on video. One week later Omar was arrested in Lahore.

In 2002, Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan banned LeT, JeM, SSP, etc. under International pressure. By 2002, 2000 members of militant groups were arrested and 624 offices were sealed.


Al Qaeda was believed to be training terrorist groups in 2001. Al Qaeda planned to assassinate President Clinton during a visit to Bangladesh. However, his trip was cancelled.