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Indonesia Steps Up Security Ahead of Bali Bombers Execution

  • Nancy-Amelia Collins

Police say they have beefed up security at vital sites, including a fuel refinery, and are checking vehicles and setting up road blocks to ensure the execution of the three men convicted for the 2002 Bali bombings is not disturbed.

Followers of Amrozi Nurhasyim, Imam Samudra, and Ali Ghufron, who is also known as Muhklas, have vowed to launch revenge attacks after the executions take place.

The men, all members of the regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, were sentenced to death five years ago for planning and carrying out the bombings on the resort island of Bali that claimed the lives of 202 people, many of them foreign tourists.

Sidney Jones, a terrorism expert at the International Crisis Group in Jakarta, says she does not believe the Jemaah Islamiyah organization or any break away cells have the capabilities of staging another major terrorist attack.

"I think Noordin Mohammad Top, who esteems Muklas very, very much, would probably like to do something in retaliation, but I really don't think that any of the groups in Indonesia now have the capacity to pull off a major attack in retaliation - though I think we're more likely to see some acts of emotional mob violence at the time the bodies are buried," she said.

Malaysian fugitive Noordin Mohammad Top is thought to be the mastermind behind the 2002 Bali bombings and the authorities believe he may be hiding somewhere in Indonesia.

The Indonesian government has arrested over 300 Islamic militants linked to Jemaah Islamiyah over the past few years, effectively shattering the terrorist group.

But Jones says while the terrorist organization may be down, it is now looking to rebuild, especially through the younger generation.

"I would say right now JI isn't interested in bombing and is only interested in rebuilding the organization so that if there's a threat of violence it's not likely to come from JI as an organization. But it's not a spent force because we've got about 40 schools run by JI with JI children -" that is children of JI members now in their teens - are learning some of the same ideological precepts that their parents learned," said Jones.

Indonesia is a secular democratic nation with the world's largest population of Muslims. The vast majority practice a tolerant, moderate form of the faith.


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