“What they fear is that Dec 25 will be ushered in with another terrorist bombing blitz. There are signs that preparations are under way, and in recent weeks, both security czar Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and national police chief Dai Bachtiar have been sounding the alarm.
“What they have revealed so far is that the authorities have obtained – through the interrogation of suspects – a list of targets in the capital.
“These include Citibank branches, offices of US-owned oil company Caltex, a suburb popular with expatriates and two interna- tional schools.
“Churches are not on that list. But they could very well be one of the key targets for the Jemaah Islamiah (JI). On Christmas Eve three years ago, a series of church bombings left 19 people dead.
“The Straits Times understands that over the past month, militants have been secretly videotaping at least two Jakarta churches during services on Sunday.”
Hmmm. A synagogue in Maryland and churches in Indonesia. I begin to perceive a pattern.
“One of the churches in the posh residential district of Menteng in central Jakarta, St Theresia’s, is packed every weekend with expatriates, especially Americans.
“A foreign businessman attending services there with his wife and two children said recently: ‘There was this guy on a motorcycle filming the church from across the road. When he realised that I had seen him, he just sped off.’
“Intelligence officials investigating the reports said it follows the modus operandi of groups such as the JI.
“It is standard practice for JI operatives to survey a target as part of their planning before any attack.
“After all, that is what terrorists tried to do in Singapore before they were stopped in their tracks by the Internal Security Department.”
The article also says that “despite being emasculated by the arrests of top leaders such as Hambali, JI is alive and well in Indonesia. . . . Its new leader, Islamic cleric Zulkarnaen, is also focusing his efforts on a suicide bombing unit, the Laskhar Khos.”
Wait a minute. I thought suicide bombing was a product of desperation and poverty among Palestinians. Why would Indonesians be doing it as well? (For the truth about how suicide bombers are recruited, see Onward Muslim Soldiers.)