In East Timor, the 30,000 refugees
of last year's violence are returning home. The rebels are discredited and
dispirited, with many deserting the cause or surrendering. There were originally
several hundred armed rebels, men who had deserted from a 600 man army
battalion that rebelled over pay and prestige issues two years ago, and were
fired. Over 500 police, soldiers and peacekeepers continue to hunt the
remaining rebels, mainly to convince them to surrender.
cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who inspired several groups of Islamic terrorists to
kill several hundred people six years ago, got off with a light sentence and
was released from prison last year. Since then, he has increasingly urged his
followers to attack foreign tourists. Bashir really has a thing about nude beaches,
although most of his young followers would rather go there to look, not kill.
For the last six months, Bashir has been preaching violence against tourists,
but few, if any, of his young followers have been sufficiently inspired to do
the deed. Police continue to monitor Bashir.
still plenty of Islamic radicals in the country, and clerics who preach
violence against infidels (non-Moslems). But it's no longer fashionable to be
an Islamic terrorist killer. The news from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places
where Islamic terrorists are active, have shown too many attacks that just
killed fellow Moslems. This is not very popular in Moslem nations, and the
Indonesian kids have picked up on this.