With Abu Bakar Bashir’s already light sentence reduced even further, terrorists in Indonesia are “regrouping, retraining, and recruiting” “” and “could be planning more deadly bombings.” So says AP, with thanks to nicolei.
“Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, has emerged as a key battle ground in the United States-led war on terrorism since Islamic militants bombed two nightclubs on the country’s Bali island last year, killing 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.
“The Al-Qaeda-linked south-east Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah was blamed for the Oct 12, 2002, Bali attacks. It has also been implicated in the Aug 5 blast at the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, which killed 12 people and injured around 150.
“‘We are up against determined enemies who attack us again and again,’ security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said at an international conference here on the economic challenges facing Indonesia in 2004.
“Indonesia was criticised before the Bali bombings for failing to act on warnings that militants were targeting the sprawling archipelago. Since then, police have arrested more than 90 militants, but public displays of support for the war on terror, or recognition that Islamic terrorists remain a threat, are rare.
“Many government officials are wary about being seen as cooperating too closely with the United States — something they fear could alienate Muslim voters in polls scheduled for 2004.”
But surely the vast numbers of moderate Muslims who condemn terrorism in all its forms will offset this effect, no?