“Militant Islamists spook aid workers,” from AP, with thanks to Doc Washburn:
UN and Indonesian officials yesterday said they would not scale back cooperation with the US military on tsunami-stricken Sumatra island, despite terror fears raised by the presence of an extremist Islamic group with alleged al-Qaeda links, and reports that one major aid agency said its staff had been ordered not to fly in US helicopters.
The Laskar Mujahidin set up a camp in Aceh province and posted a sign that read — in English — “Islamic Law Enforcement.” Its members said they have been collecting corpses, distributing food and providing Islamic teaching for refugees.
The presence of the extremist group, accused of involvement in Christian-Muslim fighting elsewhere in Indonesia, has generated fears that US military personnel and others doing relief work could become terror targets.
It also underscores the fine line that foreigners must tread between being welcomed as Samaritans or viewed as invaders in a country where suspicion of outsiders runs deep.