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Top Indonesian Islamic militant goes on trial

ICC Note:

“About 85 percent of Indonesia’s more than 220 million people follow Islam. While most Muslims are moderate, the country has seen an emergence of an increasingly vocal militant minority.”

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12/17/2007 Indonesia (Reuters) The self-confessed head of Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) went on trial in Indonesia on Monday, as the battle against a group blamed for a string of deadly attacks resumed in the court room.

Zarkasih, 45, was arrested in June after operations involving the country’s anti-terrorist unit, Detachment 88, which also netted the movement’s alleged military chief, Abu Dujana.

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The indictment alleged that he approved the shipping of explosives last year to Poso, an area on Sulawesi island torn by Muslim-Christian fighting which killed about 2,000 people between 1999 and 2001.

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The International Crisis Group has estimated JI, which is believed to want to create an Islamic state in Southeast Asia and has previously been linked to al Qaeda, has about 900 members.

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