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Indonesian Terrorists Sentenced

A court in Indonesia has sentenced to death two men convicted of the September 2004 bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta. Eleven people were killed, including a young mother. Some one-hundred-eighty others were wounded in the bombing. The bombing was carried out by a suicide terrorist who drove a delivery van packed with almost a ton of explosives to the embassy where it was detonated.

Iwan Darmawan was found guilty of handling the funding of the attack and surveying the target. Achmad Mohamed Hassan was convicted of providing shelter to those who conceived the plot, Malaysians Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Mohammed Top. Both Husin and Top are still at large.

According to news reports, the attack against the Australian embassy was paid for by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and carried out by its Indonesian affiliate, Jemaah Islamiyah. Jemaah Islamiyah seeks to establish an extremist Islamic state in southeast Asia covering the territory of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and southern portions of Thailand and the Philippines.

Jemaah Islamiyah was also responsible for the October 2002 terrorist bombing in Bali, Indonesia, which killed more than two-hundred people. Among the dozens of other Jemaah Islamiyah attacks in Indonesia in recent years was the August 2003 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, in which twelve Indonesians died.

Indonesian authorities have arrested more than one-hundred-sixty people in connection with these terrorist attacks and convicted more than one-hundred. President George W. Bush said that Indonesia's success in fighting terrorism is related to its success as a pluralistic and democratic country:

"America believes that freedom and democracy are critical to defeating terror because free nations that respect human rights do not breed hatred, resentment, and the ideologies of murder. And the United States strongly supports a healthy democracy in Indonesia."

"Indonesia is a vital partner," said Mr. Bush. The U.S. and Indonesia, he says, "share a commitment to democracy."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.