Indonesia: Counter-Terror War Heats Up


November 11, 2005: In the Malukus, police discovered a recently abandoned camp which apparently contained a bomb making workshop and school. The Malukus have a large Christian population, and Islamic militants have flocked to the area in an attempt to start a religious war. So far, police and troops have kept the violence down.

November 9, 2005: One of the top two Islamic terrorist leaders in the country was cornered, and killed in a battle with police. Azahari bin Husin was apparently building bombs, some of which were set off as the police closed in. More bombs, and bomb making materials were found in the wreckage. Husin, known as a key bomb maker for Jemaah Islamiyah, died with one other associate. Husin was believed to be a key planner for the 2002 Bali bombings.

November 8, 2005: In Sulawesi, Islamic militants shot two more Christina teenage girls, apparently hoping to rekindle widespread religious strife.

November 7, 2005: The army has set up special counter-terrorist commands throughout the country, to coordinate operations with police and intelligence organizations. The army has more manpower than the police or intelligence forces, and has long been pressured to better use it against terrorists.

November 5, 2005: Counter-terrorism officials have been embarrassed and enraged by revelations that Indonesian al Qaeda leader Omar al Faruq escaped from an American prison in Afghanistan, and is now openly gloating about it via the Arab media. Al Faruq, and three other al Qaeda members, are the only such escapes from U.S. custody. Al Faruq was captured in Indonesia in 2002, and turned over to the United States for questioning.

November 4, 2005: Police discovered and defused a bomb in Sulawesi, where Islamic militants have been attacking Christians for the last few years.




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