10/29/2008, 00.00
INDONESIA

In Jakarta Christian priests and activists first target of Islamic terrorists

by Mathias Hariyadi
Police spokesman reports that following the arrest of dangerous terrorists it is becoming evident that some groups are shifting strategy, focusing primarily on domestic targets, like Christians, in order, among other things, to prevent inter-faith dialogue.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Islamic terrorists are moving to a new strategy, opting for attacks against Christian clergymen and activists, targeting vital installations across the country instead of US interests, this according Police spokesman Inspector General Abubakar Nataprawira.  Equally the threat of attacks linked to the November execution of three men sentenced for the October 2002 Bali bombings (pictured) remains high.

Inspector General Nataprawira spoke at a press conference, unveiling the results from investigations sparked by the arrest on 21 October in Kelapa Ganding (North Jakarta) of members of a new terror group called Tauhid Wal Jihad.

“They were planning attacks against Christian priests and peace activities involved in peace actions and interfaith activities against terrorism,” the inspector said.

North Jakarta’s main fuel depot in Plumpang owned by Pertamina was also the group’s target list. Also the group was planning to bring weapons into the country and launch a six-month mass drive to recruit new members.

Wahyu, who has been involved in various terrorist attacks in Poso and Ambon (during the 2005-2006 sectarian clashes) and against the police, is among those arrested. He had been on the run since 2005.

Meanwhile some people are wondering whether the brutal assault against Fr Benny Susetyo was part of this strategy.

The clergyman, who is the secretary of Interfaith Dialogue Commission of the Indonesian Bishops of Conference, was savagely beaten by unknown assailants on 11 August in South Jakarta.

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