In East Timor, criminal gangs continue to dominate the streets. The gangsters hide when the peacekeeper patrols come by, and return when the peacekeepers have gone by. Most of the violence is between gangs, who fight to control neighborhoods (and the lucrative extortion activity and drug sales). In the last two weeks, their have been some 60 casualties from this violence, including eight dead. With unemployment of about fifty percent, there are plenty of potential gang members. The gangs have political affiliations as well, and politicians use gangs to control the voting.
October 31, 2006: Islamic militants captured in the Philippines revealed that Indonesian Islamic terrorists were able to flee to safety in the Philippines via Malaysia. Smugglers provided boats to get the fugitives from Malaysia to Moslem areas in the southern Philippines.
October 23, 2006: Police in Central Sulawesi, where thousands of people have died in violence instigated by Islamic radicals, have identified 44 Islamic radicals as the leaders of the attacks. So far, fifteen of these men have been arrested, and the others are being sought. Some of the suspects may have fled the country. Islamic radical organizations want to convert, kill or drive out Indonesian Christians. The violence continues, with seven bombs going off in the last two months. When Christians fight back, the Moslem dominated police often side with the Islamic radicals.
October 22, 2006: In Aceh, there are still several thousand armed rebels up in the hills, waiting to see the results of next months elections. Those rebels who did accept the amnesty, did not get all the money promised. Crime and unrest are up, and the usual government corruption is working its usual magic, to cause more discontent.