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    » 08/30/2005, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    High risk of terrorist attacks in Indonesia, says President Susilo



    "Terrorist cells are still active", the President warns. He puts country's security forces on high alert and gives notice to Islamic extremists.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told the nation that over the next two months the country is at risk of terrorist attacks.

    "We know the terrorists cells are still active, [that] they are still hiding, recruiting, networking, trying to find new funding and even planning ...   another strike," the President said.

    He warned of possible attacks in September or October, calling them "special months for terrorism".

    "There will a rise in terrorist activities," he said. ""Last night, I instructed the security minister, the head of the intelligence agency and the police chief to conduct more active operations into the detection and prevention [of the] act of terrorism that may happen this year . . . in the months of September and October."
    Mr Susilo called the Jemaah Islamiah network a threat to the nation. The group is said to be linked to al-Qaida and operating as its South-East Asia branch. It has been blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings and the September 2004 blast at the Australian Embassy which killed 202 and 10 people respectively.

    President Susilo warned against extremist views and gave notice to radical Islamic groups that Indonesia—the most populous Muslim country in the world—"will continue to be moderate, tolerant and democratic".

    "We will strengthen the hands of the religious moderates," he added.

    In the last few months, several episodes suggest that the radical views criticised by the President are spreading.

    In late July, Indonesia's top Islamic council issued a religious edict forbidding pluralism, any liberal interpretation of Islam and mixed marriages. But the legally non-binding fatwa by the Indonesian Ulama Council was harshly criticised by many moderate clerics.

    At the same time, Muslim hardliners in parts of the country have recently forced the closure of several churches without causing any police intervention to stop them.

    The country is currently going through a serious economic crisis. Rising fuel prices and the decline of the Indonesian rupiah (in August alone it lost 10 per cent of its value against the US dollar) have forced the Central Bank to raise interest rates from 8.75 per cent to 9.5 per cent.

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    See also

    15/06/2010 INDONESIA
    Jakarta: third conviction for Marriot and Ritz Carlton attacks of July 2009
    Amir Abdillah, 34, transported explosives and took part in planning the attacks. He also drove Noordin Mohammad Top, Indonesia’s former Most Wanted. He will now spend eight years behind bars. He rejects the charges, saying he thought he was delivering “ingredients for cakes.”

    15/09/2010 INDONESIA
    Muslim leader detained in anti-Christian attack
    Police announce that Muharli Barda, notorious head of the Islamic Defender Front in Bekasi, is a suspect in the case. Nine other people are involved, but their names have not yet been made public as the authorities continue to investigate the stabbing of a Christian clergyman.

    19/02/2010 INDONESIA
    Indonesians in uproar over proposal to censor internet
    Communication Ministry spokesman announces draft bill to regulate internet use. The proposal provokes protests among ordinary Indonesians who oppose the idea. President Yudhoyono speaks out, defending “freedom of speech and freedom of expression.” The minister backtracks, claiming he is innocent since he knew nothing of the initiative.

    13/06/2008 INDONESIA
    Anti-Ahmadi decree inches Indonesia one step closer to an Islamic state
    The country is split over the issue of religious freedom. Human rights activists, scholars and minorities call for decisive action by the president; otherwise the government will become a hostage to extremists whose ultimate goal is the introduction of Sharia law.

    04/02/2013 INDONESIA
    Democratic Party's main financial backer convicted on corruption charges
    Siti Hartati, a businesswoman and head of the Indonesian Buddhist Forum Association, was sentenced to 32 months in jail and US$ 15,000 in fines. The scandal tarnishes the image of the president's party as the other major parties begin their own moralisation campaigns.



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