Anti-tourist Jihad in the Maldives. “Islamic terror hits tourist paradise,” from Associated Press (thanks to all who sent this in):
MALE, Maldives – While vacationing tycoons and bikini-clad Hollywood superstars blissfully sipped drinks on the Maldives” secluded white beaches, an Islamic revolution fueled by preachers trained in Pakistan and the Middle East was brewing.
On Sept. 29, the two faces of the Maldives collided when a homemade bomb exploded in a park in the capital, Male, wounding 12 tourists, threatening the critical resort industry and sending the clear message that even this remote corner of paradise is not immune to terrorism.
The attack, and a bloody confrontation days later between police and masked Islamic extremists armed with harpoons, stunned this Indian Ocean nation and threatened its careful effort to balance its traditionally moderate Islamic heritage with liberal Western values.
The government reacted swiftly to crush the fundamentalist movement that had risen amid the palm trees and crystal blue waters of its 1,190 coral islands. Authorities banned the veil, arrested scores of suspected extremists, sealed underground mosques and promised a crackdown on radical preachers.
While many high school graduates went to Europe or Australia for a liberal education, others studied religion at extremist institutions in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and spread their radical beliefs across the islands, said Rohan Gunaratna, a Singapore-based terrorism expert hired by the government. He estimated that several thousand of the country”s 300,000 people now follow these clerics….