The jihad has spread to Cambodia. That fact has been seared — seared! — into my memory. From Stephen Brown in FrontPage, “Cambodian Court Sentences Islamists to Life in Prison”:
The recent conviction of three Islamist terrorists in a Cambodian courtroom illustrates once again the extent of the jihadist threat facing the free world and the efforts radical Islam is making to destroy it.
Last December 29, a Cambodian judge handed the three Islamists life sentences in prison for their part in a plot to blow up the American and British embassies in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, in 2002. Two of the convicted are Thai Muslims, while the third belongs to Cambodia’s indigenous Muslim community. All are believed to be involved with Jemaah Islamiyah, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist network in Southeast Asia, which wants to establish an Islamist super state in the area. A fourth defendant, an Egyptian, was acquitted.
The Cambodian prosecutor in the case said the three planned the terrorist attack with Hambali, the mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombing in Indonesia, which killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists. The three Islamists were accused of using a Saudi Arabian-funded Islamic school, where they were employed as teachers, as a cover to carry out the embassy bombings. Cambodian authorities subsequently closed down the Phnom Penh-area school and expelled from the country 28 foreign Muslims and their families, who originated from as far away as Nigeria.
Hambali, who has been in American custody since his arrest in Thailand in 2003, is known to have spent time in Cambodia the previous year. It is believed the Indonesian terrorist intended to use the country as a base to launch terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia. The three terrorist-teachers were also accused of having hidden him during his sojourn in Cambodia, during which time he taught them to use explosives. Hambali and two others involved in the plot were convicted in absentia during the same trial and also were given life sentences.
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