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Terror In Bali

Indonesian authorities are looking for two Malaysian fugitives, Azahari Bin Husin and Noordin Mohamed Top, believed to be masterminds in the al-Qaida-linked terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah.

According to Indonesian authorities, Husin and Top are suspected of taking part in planning the October 1st suicide bombings in Bali, which killed twenty-two people and wounded more than one-hundred others. They are also wanted in connection with other bombings, including the October 2002 bombing in Bali, which killed over two-hundred people. Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

Most of the October 1st bombing victims were Indonesians. But tourists from Japan, South Korea, the United States, and Australia were also among the casualties. Australia’s prime minister John Howard says the terrorists’ real target is democracy:

"They don’t like us. They don’t like Westerners. They don’t like what we believe in. They don’t like what we do but their primary goal is to undermine democratic Indonesia. It’s a very big prize for the terrorists. It’s the biggest Islamic country in the world. It’s now lead by a man of great gifts and a very moderate, decent man and terrorists don’t like moderate, successful democratic Islamic leaders.”

Bagus Negantara is a coffee shop worker who witnessed one of the bomb attacks in Bali. “I tried to mop tears flowing from my eyes because I was enraged,” he said. Kiai Haj Hasyim Muzadi is president of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization. He condemned the bombings and the “use of Islam and of any other religion as an ideology to carry out things which are totally against humanity and the essence of Islam.”

Syafii Maarif, a prominent Indonesian Muslim scholar said, “these bloody actions go against humanity and against the values of Islam.” In a commentary in the online edition of The Jakarta Post, Aleksius Jemadu wrote that Indonesian “government and society have a common agenda: How to combine their resources in insuring there will be no more room for any kind of terrorist operation in Indonesia.”

The U.S. Embassy in Indonesia is contributing fifty-thousand dollars through the Indonesian Red Cross to hospitals providing emergency assistance to the Bali bombing victims. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “the United States stands with the people and government of Indonesia as they work to bring to justice those responsible for these acts of terrorism.”

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