June 16, 2007:
The most senior members
of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), Noordin M Top and Azahari, are still at large.
But the military leader of the organization, Abu Dujana, and his staff,
have been caught. These are the people who handled recruiting, training and
carrying out terrorist attacks. The top JI leaders have been on the run for
years now, so harried that they have had little time to do what he does best,
propaganda and publicity. Top was responsible for getting terrorist video and
audio messages out to promote JI. Police pressure over the past few years
has made that nearly impossible. But Top has been able to raise cash,
apparently from Middle Eastern donors. Not a lot of cash, but enough to keep JI
going, to buy explosives, and to bribe enough people to keep the senior people
at large, at least until now. The raids last weekend scooped up a large number
of documents, giving details of JIs current membership and organization.
Noordin M Top and Azahari, and several other captured terrorists, were
responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings, but most of the post-Bali attacks were
the work of Abu Dujana and his crew. With that bunch now largely under
arrest, the only bombing potential JI has are third string amateurs with little
training or experience. Still dangerous, but also less adept at evading the
cops. Total membership of JI is believed to be 800-900, throughout Indonesia.
Perhaps a hundred members have fled to other countries, particularly the
Philippines and Malaysia, but some have run as far as Europe. With the recently
captured information, police are expected to make more arrests this Summer, and
drive more JI members into hiding, or out of the organization entirely. JI has
not been crushed, but it has lost a lot of its killing capability.
June 9, 2007: In a Java, police located and
arrested Abu Dujana, the head of Islamic terrorist organization Jemaah
Islamiah, along with seven other terrorists. It is believed that the earlier
capture of Mahfud, an aide to Abu Dujana, led to the capture of the top man himself.
Abu Dujana has been a leading Jemaah Islamiah organizer and bomb builder
for over five years. When Azahari Husin died in 2005, Abu Dujana took
over as head of military (terrorist) operations for Jemaah Islamiah.
While Abu Dujana has not been able to set off any major bombs since 2005,
police have captured several major caches of bomb making material in the past
few years. Abu Dujana was able to get the bomb materials, but was not able to
build, place and detonate large bombs because plentiful police informers made
it impossible to keep the bomb building efforts a secret. Abu Dujana has
personal relationships with senior al Qaeda leaders.
June 8, 2007: East Timor wants to create an
armed forces of 3,000 troops, including a navy with some missile-armed patrol
boats. East Timor has no money, and would have to get foreign aid to recruit
and equip a force this size. East Timor relies on international allies to
protect it from Indonesia, or any other foreign attacker. A force of 3,000
would be used to deal with smugglers and pirates, and not much else. Except, of
course, imposing a military dictatorship. Also, given the high unemployment
rate, the military would be a prime source of jobs. But the country could not
afford to maintain a force that size, and would need foreign aid just to take
care of the payroll.
June 5, 2007: Over the weekend, there were
two political murders in East Timor, as rival gangs continue to clash. It is
feared that there is now a cycle of revenge killings, that are hard to stop.