Indonesia: From Russia With Credit

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November18, 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.

November 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.

An 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.

November 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.

 

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