Indonesia: Terrorists Declared Defeated


August 19, 2007: The government has declared victory over Islamic terrorism in Indonesia. There have been no major attacks in the last two years. Also, the Islamic terrorism directed at Indonesian Christians has all but disappeared. This violence killed about 10,000 people between 1999-2002. As a result, as part of the celebration of Indonesian independence, about half of the 139,000 people in prison had their sentences reduced. This included hundreds of convicted terrorists. Most of the reductions were measured in months, but it upset many in neighboring Australia, which has lost over a hundred citizens to terror attacks in Indonesia.

Islamic terrorists have been largely shut down in Indonesia by a combination of good police work, and public opinion turning against the Islamic radicals. While a large minority of Indonesians favor Islamic radicalism, not enough of them are willing to back terrorism. There was a largely unseen (outside of Indonesia) civil war between the traditional Moslems (who incorporate many pre-Islamic religious customs and ideas) and the Islamic conservatives (heavily influenced by Wahhabi missionaries from Saudi Arabia.) Many of those Islamic radials who were not killed or arrested, fled the country. Some ended up in the Philippines and Malaysia, where they continue to be pursued. There are still dozens of Islamic terrorists in Indonesia, but they spend most of their time avoiding arrest.

August 15, 2007: Gang violence persists in East Timor, with UN vehicles being regularly stoned. Some vehicles have been heavily damaged or destroyed, and about a dozen of the most active attackers were arrested.

August 12, 2007: Islamic organization Hizbut Tahrir rented a sports stadium and filled it with 80,000 Moslems eager to support the establishment of a world-wide Islamic government (the Caliphate.) Hizbut Tahrir is banned in most Moslem countries, because it calls for the overthrow of the all current governments. Hizbut Tahrir is not banned, but is closely watched, in Indonesia. Hizbut Tahrir keeps going because its leaders have obtained asylum in Western countries like Britain and Australia. Hizbut Tahrir gets away with this by insisting that the worldwide Islamic dictatorship will be established by peaceful means.

August 11, 2007: A house exploded in East Java, killing three people. Police quickly determined that the cause was a fertilizer bomb. Further investigation, however, revealed that the house was used to build bombs for fishermen, who used explosions to stun large schools of fish. You then scoop up the fish as they float on the surface. The bomb makers for the fishermen have never been connected with Islamic terrorists.


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