Indonesia: Terrorism Is Cheap


November 26, 2005: Terrorism in Indonesia is not expensive. With dozens of terrorists in custody, and several years to interrogate them, police have learned that many attacks were financed by the terrorists themselves, often via crimes. The robbery of a gold store financed the 2002 Bali bombings. But $75,000 of cash donations have been traced back to sources in the Middle East (usually Saudi Arabia) and Asia.

The police and security forces have been diligent and persistent in going after terrorists, arresting most of the the culprits eventually. This is helped by a public attitude that condemns terrorism, and this results in lot of useful tips. On the flip side, there is not a lot of public enthusiasm for cracking down on Islamic clergy, and some of these scholars and preachers are radical and involved with terrorist activities. Thus the public will help hunt down terrorists, but at the same time will tolerate those who preach violence and terrorism.

November 25, 2005: Pakistan has agreed to increase intelligence cooperation, mainly on terrorist matters. Many Indonesian Islamic radicals got their training in Pakistan, where terrorist training camps and Islamic radical schools can be found. By sharing information, counter-terrorist forces in both countries can be on the look out for same suspects.

November 23, 2005: The U.S. will resume selling weapons to Indonesia. Such sales, and other military aid, were suspended, in 1991 because of the role of the military in fighting separatists in Timor. Military training and equipment sales were resumed earlier this year.

Over the last two days, religious violence in the Malukus flared up, leaving one dead and several wounded as men from rival Moslem and Christian villages clashed.

November 20, 2005: Religious violence continued in Central Sulawesi, where a Christian university lecturer and his wife were gunned down.




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