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1/18/03 - INDONESIANS DEAL WITH TERRORISM - 2003-01-21


Indonesian authorities are bringing to justice those responsible for the worst terrorist attack in their history. On October 12th, 2002, more than one-hundred-eighty men, women, and children from more than a dozen countries were killed in the bombing of the Paddy and Sari nightclubs in Bali. The investigation has shed light on the Indonesian Islamic extremists responsible for the attack.

A little more than three weeks after the bombing, Indonesian authorities had a key suspect in custody, an Indonesian Islamic extremist named Amrozi [am-ROH-zee]. Amrozi laughed and joked on videotape as he admitted to Indonesian police that he bought the explosives and the minivan used in the attack.

In November, Indonesia captured the accused organizer of the Bali attack, Imam Samudra [ee-mahm sah-mood-rah], alias Hudama [hoo-dah-mah]. Samudra is believed to be a leader of Jemaah Islamiyah [jeh-mah-ah is-lah-mee-ah], an Islamic terrorist group linked to al-Qaida. According to press reports, Amrozi told Indonesian police that he traveled to Malaysia in the 1980s and 1990s. There he was radicalized by his brother, Mukhlas [mook-lahs], who recruited him for terrorist attacks. "Mukhlas is Samudra's superior," said Indonesia's national police chief, General Erwin Mappaseng [mah-pah-SENG]. Mukhlas is currently being sought by Indonesian police.

The government of Indonesia should be commended for its professional investigation of the Bali bombing. It is demonstrating that it is possible to counter terrorism without infringing democratic rights.

The Indonesian government is acting responsibly and courageously in its pursuit of the Bali bombers. It is giving no credence to false claims about foreign scapegoats; rather, it is being guided by the evidence. That evidence is showing the Bali attack to be the work of Indonesian and other Islamic terrorists. And the people of Indonesia are beginning to recognize the danger from within.

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