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8/8/03 - TERRORIST ATTACK IN INDONESIA - 2003-08-08


On August 5th, a car bomb exploded at the J-W Marriott Hotel in central Jakarta, Indonesia, killing at least fourteen people and injuring over one-hundred-fifty. White House press spokesman Scott McClellan said the attack highlights the need to continue the war on global terrorism:

"This is a deplorable attack on innocent civilians. We fully support (Indonesian) President Megawati [Sukarnoputri] and her administration in their efforts to fight terror and rout out terrorism. And we stand fully prepared to assist in any way possible in bringing those responsible to justice."

Jemaah Islamiah is suspected of responsibility for the bombing. The terrorist group seeks to impose by force a radical Islamic state on the people of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the southern Philippines. Jemaah Islamiah is part of the international terrorist network led by al Qaida.

Jakarta police said the car bomb that ripped through the hotel contained the same type of explosives as the car bombs that destroyed two nightclubs and killed over two hundred people in Bali in October 2002. That attack was also carried out by Jemaah Islamiah.

The Jakarta attack is a stark reminder that the civilized world is still waging a global war on terrorism, said White House spokesman McClellan:

"The global coalition remains steadfast in our efforts to pursue terrorists and bring them to justice. We are making important progress, but the war continues and we will not stop until we have disrupted, dismantled, and defeated these terrorist organizations."

Indonesia has made progress in its effort to dismantle the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist network. Indonesian authorities have dismantled terrorist cells and arrested dozens of Jemaah Islamiah members, including several who are implicated in the Bali car bombings.

Indonesia's crackdown on terrorism has the full cooperation and support of the United States. As President George W. Bush said, "slowly but surely, we're dismantling the [terrorist] networks. And we'll continue on the hunt -- it doesn't matter how long it takes."

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