18, 2006: Russia has agreed to provide a billion dollars in loans so Indonesia
can purchase eight Su-30 fighters, two submarines and four Mi-26 assault
helicopters over the next five years. The U.S. has not sold weapons to
Indonesia for a while because of human rights issues. The Russians stepped in
with low prices, immediate delivery and, now, credit terms.
15, 2006: While peacekeepers appear to have gotten illegal guns off the streets
of East Timor, the political and criminal gangs are still there, armed with
knives and clubs. The gangs also harass civilians, on foot or in vehicles, with
stone throwing. The peacekeepers cannot be everywhere at once, and the East
Timor police are not yet reconstituted. So the capital, and some of the
countryside, is dangerous.
Islamic terrorist, on trial for beheading three school girls last year,
confessed to the crime in court, apologized to the families of the girls, and
justified the murders by insisting that he just wanted revenge for attacks by
Christians against Moslems. Islamic radicals began the cycle of violence in
Sulawesi six years ago, when they sought to drive out the half of the
population, in the area, that was Christian. Police have arrested some 300
Islamic terrorists in the past four years, and aborted dozens of terrorist
attacks. But about ten percent of the population still supports conservative
Islam, thus providing a base for Islamic terrorists. However, pressure from the
police, and hostility from most of the population, has caused most active
Islamic terrorists to flee the country. Several Indonesian terrorists have been
identified, or arrested, in neighboring countries.
11, 2006: In the capital, a man detonated a pipe bomb in an American themed
fast-food restaurant (which was inside a shopping mall). Only the bomber was
hurt. A search of the bombers home found bomb making materials. The bomber did
not appear to belong to any Islamic radical organization, so this attack does
not appear to be another of the Islamic terror attacks against Westerners that
have occurred in the last four years. Although a loner, the bomber was a fan
of Islamic terrorists. His family thought the bomber was eccentric, and
not likely to act out his fantasies.