Tiny Minority of Extremists Alert, both for the bombers and the external sources of funding described below. “Indonesia: Up to 450 ‘recruited by Islamist terrorist’,” from AdnKronos International and the Jakarta Post, August 18 (thanks to Sr Soph):
Jakarta, 18 August (AKI/Jakarta Post) – Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist, Noordin M. Top, and his Islamist group, Jemaah Islamiyah, have recruited and trained nearly 450 members for bombing operations since 2000, according to senior police.
Top is now believed to have escaped after initially being reported killed in a recent raid.
National police spokesman Insp. Gen. Nanan Soekarna said that Noordin and JI, believed to be the regional arm of global terrorist network Al-Qaeda, had provided training in bomb manufacture, weapons handling, combat skills, recruitment techniques and suicide bombing to new recruits from across the archipelago.
“We can base these figures from [information provided by] members we have arrested and from those who have served time in jail. We have arrested and brought many of them to trial, while we continue trying to track down others,” he said.
Nanan said programs to rehabilitate and monitor convicted terrorists were weak.
He said since around 200 had been released from prison since 2002, authorities were afraid that many would rejoin their former terror networks and radical sympathisers.
Nanan said links between suspects thought responsible for the 2004 Australian Embassy attack and the recent J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel bombings was testament to how the legal system had failed to deter future terrorist activity.
Air Setiawan and Eko Joko Sarjono, suspects in the 2004 bombing, blew themselves up in last month’s attacks in Jakarta that left nine dead and more than 50 injured.
The fact that both these bombers were teenagers also showed that extremists were able to appeal to young Muslims and convince them to commit mass murder, he said.
Nanan said JI was able to draw on hundreds of potential supporters due to ongoing conflicts in Poso and Ambon.
A number of intelligence experts claim the terrorist network is still receiving significant funding from both local and international donors.
“They [donors] keep sending large amounts of money to the country, most of which is unfortunately sent via courier and thus very difficult to trace and stop,” Mardigu, a terrorist expert, said in Jakarta on Monday.
Usually the couriers enter the country through Dumai and Batam, he said, both regions located within a half hour of Singapore and Malaysia….