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Senate Report on CIA Torture

Capture of Hambali

Riduan bin Isomuddin, known as Hambali, was a senior member of the Southeast Asia-based terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) "and served as an interface between the JI and al-Qa'ida." He was involved in the 1995 “Bojinka Plot” to put explosives on United States-bound airplanes, and suspected of “playing a supporting role” in the 9/11 attacks. Hambali was also suspected of planning the October 2012 terrorist attack in Bali that killed more than 200 people.

In 2002, the CIA named Hambali the “number one target” in Southeast Asia. He received funding from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) to carry out attacks, including $50,000 for operatives to carry out an attack “in approximately November 2002.” The CIA “consistently asserted” in various reports to the administration, the Department of Justice, and the Senate Intelligence Committee “that ‘after applying’ the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, KSM provided ‘the crucial first link’ that led to the capture of Hambali.” However, “information obtained from KSM during and after the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques played no role in the capture of Hambali,” and the CIA had the information needed to capture Hambali - including his role in Jemaah Islamiyah, his close relationship with al Qaeda operatives such as Majid Khan and KSM, and evidence of a $50,000 money transfer from KSM to Hambali’s associates - before the CIA detained KSM. The CIA learned all of the information that led to Hambali’s capture through “signals intelligence, a CIA source, and Thai investigative activities in Thailand.”

Following surveillance and questioning of Hambali's associates, he was captured in Thailand in August 2003.The chief of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center Southeast Asia Branch said of the capture: "Frankly, we stumbled onto Hambali. We stumbled onto the [the source] picking up the phone and calling his case officer to say there's [redacted] [related to (Hambali associate) Zubair]...we really stumbled over it. It wasn't police work, it wasn't good targeting, it was we stumbled over it and it yielded up Hambali. What I tell my people is you work really, really hard to be in a position to get lucky."