Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

AsiaNews – As Christmas draws near, the threats of attacks against Christian communities in Indonesia are becoming more and more concrete. Catholic and Protestant churches in Jember – in the province of east Java – yesterday received anonymous letters threatening imminent attacks. The church authorities, however, have not made any comments about what appears to be a real and proper campaign of psychological intimidation in the region.

Islamic fundamentalists are targeting more than Indonesia : it seems as if they have set their sights on all of South-east Asia . Yesterday Inspector-General Made Mangku Pastika, head of the Bali police, revealed a document containing information about a master plan of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) – the terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda – to conduct a jihad in countries belonging to ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). The paper, entitled “General Guidelines for the Jemaah Islamiyah’s Struggle” pinpoints Indonesia as the first target for attack and tracks other areas of interest. The document fell into police hands after a raid on Surakarta to capture terrorists Muklas and Sa’ad, linked to the 2002 Bali bombings.

“It is not surprising to learn that during the last three years those notorious Muslim militants had targeted Indonesia ,” said Pastika at the end of a meeting yesterday with the ambassador of Malaysia to Indonesia , Dato Zainal Abidin Zain.

The Inspector-General said both countries had been earmarked as “economic” zones, used as centers for fund raising for terrorist operations. A minivan L-300 Mitsubishi, which Amrozi bought for the first Bali bombing, was financed by money from the zone. Amrozi and Imam Samudra are the two terrorists condemned to death for organising the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people. “The money was collected both in Indonesia and Malaysia as Amrozi bought the vehicles with Malaysian ringgit, Indonesian rupiahs, and Singaporean dollars.”

In the JI plan, the Philippines were outlined as an “exercise” zone. Pastika said militants trained in the so-called Abu Bakar Bashir camp. It was for the first time that such a high-ranking police officer made a public statement over the possible involvement of Bashir in JI-planned bombing attacks. The cleric, held to be the JI spiritual leader, is currently serving two and a half years in prison for “complicity” in the 2002 Bali attacks.