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New terror group in Southeast Asia JAKARTA - Indonesia's police head says that a new Islamic terror group has sprung up in Southeast Asia, and is working in his country, as well as neighboring Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. Members of the group -- which goes by the name of Nusantara -- have already been arrested, according to Police Chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar, who declined to say where they had been nabbed. Nusantara is the Indonesian word for the archipelagos lying in between the Asian and Australian continents, and between the Indian and the Pacific oceans.
"The existence of this group was revealed as a result of cooperation with police from neighboring countries," The Associated Press quoted Bachtiar as telling reporters in Jakarta, following a security meet on Thursday. In a statement to the press on the same day, the country's vice president, Hamzah Haz, said that it was the duty of police to probe the Nusantara network. Following the September 11 attacks on the United States, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines have detained dozens of suspected militants with suspected ties to the al Qaeda network, several of them Indonesians.
Indonesia has arrested a handful of suspects, but far fewer than its neighbors, sparking criticism it has not gone far enough in arresting Islamic militants operating within its borders. Singapore says that ringleaders are based in Indonesia and has accused Jakarta of harboring an alleged al-Qaeda-linked group called Jemaah Islamiyah, which it says plotted attacks against the U.S. Embassy and other Western interests in the city state. But Jakarta stands firm against claims that it has not gone far enough. With the world's largest Muslim population and a fledgling democracy, Indonesia has become a focal point highlighting the internal battle within Islam, which is at the heart of the global war on terror.



Posted in Terrorism @ 19 July 2002 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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