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October 7, 2005
How Many Bali Bombings Before Indonesia Takes It Seriously?

Bali has found itself an al-Qaeda terrorist target four times over the past three years, thanks to its majority Hindu population and its proximity to Australia and its tourists. However, it also appears that Jemaah Islamiyah gets a boost from an Indonesian government that turns a blind eye to its terrorism against its own people:

In Bali, one of Southeast Asia's most-wanted fugitives slips away hours before a police raid.

In central Indonesia, an Islamic school started by the reputed spiritual leader of the region's most feared militant group operates undisturbed by authorities. The group he allegedly inspires has not been outlawed.

Philippines authorities, meanwhile, suspect members of the same group al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah could be planning to reopen training camps for Islamic fighters and are busy fund-raising in the Middle East for further terror attacks.

The Oct. 1 bombings in Bali the second on the resort island in three years raises a question: Has the world's most populous Muslim nation done enough to fight Southeast Asia's leading terrorist group?

Obviously, the answer is no. The authorities still don't take terrorism seriously, as evidenced by their sloe resonses in taking on al-Qaeda. Over 250 people died in these attacks, and yet the masterminds run around free. No one has shut down their madrassas, nor has the Indonesian goverment done anything to bolster security in the tourist areas.

How many more people have to die before the Indonesians round up real AQ terrorists instead of the usual suspects? Either they want to rescue their tourist industry and their Hindu brethren, or they have too much sympathy for the terrorists to crack down on them. Would-be visitors to Bali should demand an answer from the government before puttng their money into a vacation that may leave them targets for the next oh-so-brave suicide bombers.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 7, 2005 10:02 PM

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