Indonesia: Islamic Terrorists Strike Again


October 3, 2005: Police believe that two Malaysians, Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Mohamed Top, were responsible for the October 1 attack. The two men are known members of Islamic terror group Jemaah Islamiyah, and were believed hiding in Indonesia. In the last three years, the government came down hard on Jemaah Islamiyah, arresting nearly a hundred and prosecuting, convicting and jailing most of them. But the government did not try to wipe out Jemaah Islamiyah, fearing that this might trigger a civil war with Islamic conservatives. That may change. Islam in this part of the world is rather milder than what is found in the Middle East. But over the past decade, the more militant form of Islam found in the Middle East has become more popular in urban areas of Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. Because of that, the government was able to defeat Jemaah Islamiyah, both in terms of finding and arresting Islamic terrorists, and defeating Islamic militias that were attacking non-Moslems in the country. Bali, for example, is largely Hindu, which is one reason it has been the target of Islamic terrorists.

The government got a lot of public support after the 2002 attacks, which had emotional, and economic (by hurting the tourist trade) impact on most Indonesians. The police received enough tips to track down and capture most members of Jemaah Islamiyah. Another surge of public support for the police is helping in the search for those responsible for the October 1 attack. This is likely to result in more serious damage to Jemaah Islamiyah. After the October 12, 2002 attack in Bali, there was another in December, 2002 that killed three. There were three attacks in 2003, that killed twelve. In 2004, there was only one attack, that killed tem. Earlier this year, there were two attacks, killing 19. Since that first bombing in 2002, most of the dead and wounded have been Indonesian, even though Jemaah Islamiyah says that it is making war on foreigners and infidels (non-Moslems.) Most Indonesians don't believe this, and see Jemaah Islamiyah as a bunch of homicidal maniacs. Jemaah Islamiyah was never a very large organization, with no more than a few hundred core members. Fewer than a hundred are still at large, and most are expected to be rounded up in the next few months. Islamic terrorism has proved to be very unpopular in Islamic nations, turning more and more Moslems, including conservative ones, against the terrorists. Jemaah Islamiyah would like to attack non-Moslem targets, but they have not been able to, and in desperation have made attacks that kill mostly Moslems. .

October 1, 2005: On Bali, three pedestrian suicide bombers killed themselves, and 23 others in the tourist areas of Bali island. Islamic terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah is suspected, as there have been many warnings from the government that more terrorist attacks were in the works. Bali had increased security, especially to deal with car bombs. But suicide bombers on foot were another matter. Three years ago, a car bomb attack in Bali killed 202 people, many of them Australian. This time, most of the dead and wounded were Indonesian.




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