AMBON - Three years ago, Kadir Faizal commanded great respect on the waterfront. Nobody cared that the Muslim leader of the longshoreman's union was married to a Christian and lived in her neighborhood. But now, Faizal is an infidel in the eyes of his Muslim colleagues at the harbor. ``They told me that if I didn't move to the Muslim side of the city that they'd kill me when I showed up for work,'' said Faizal. Faizal is among the innocent bystanders trapped in a religious war that ignited on this island in 1999 and has since raged across eastern Indonesia, leaving thousands of dead. Now the conflict has come under intense scrutiny in the war against global terrorism. U.S authorities are investigating possible links between the global Al-Qaida network and Laskar Jihad, an Indonesian Islamic militant group that has fanned the flames in Ambon. The Bush administration believes the Indonesian archipelago's porous border could be easily penetrated by terrorist cells. That concern was heightened last month when authorities in Singapore and Malaysia rounded up two rings of suspected terrorists who were planning to bomb U.S. embassies in the region. Last week, U.S. troops began to assist the Philippine military in operations against Muslim guerrillas linked to Al-Qaida. Poverty-stricken Indonesia is fertile ground for groups like Laskar Jihad, whose appeal comes not from its radical religious views but from its fight against social injustice. Jafar Umar Thalib, an Indonesian of Yemenite ancestry who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, started the group in central Java in January 2000, aiming to defend Muslims in the Moluccas from Christian attacks. The Moluccas are a group of islands and a province of the same name in eastern Indonesia.