Friday, August 04, 2006

Southeast Asian jihadis chatter ...

From The Australian, August 04, 2006, by Natalie O'Brien and Stephen Fitzpatrick ...

[A plot has been announced that] HUNDREDS of Southeast Asian suicide bombers have been dispatched around the world with a mission to attack Jewish interests in countries that support Israel such as Britain, the US and possibly Australia.

The radical Jakarta-based Asian Muslim Youth Movement gave The Australian details of the plot yesterday, claiming it was being funded in part with cash donations from two unnamed Australian-Indonesian businessmen. The leader of the AMYM, Islamist author Suaib Bidu, warned that thousands more jihadis were preparing to join the resistance against Israel and die as"martyrs". Mr Bidu said a "passing-out" ceremony for more than 3000 jihadis would be held tomorrow in the Indonesian city of Pontianak on the large northern island of Kalimantan.
But only about 200 would be sent immediately to targets aboard, with the remainder being active supporters.

Mr Bidu warned that his group would "monitor" the position of Australia towards Israel's current military operation in southern Lebanon, and that it too could become a target for suicide attacks. " ....

....And in Cairo, the leader of Egypt's extremist Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Mehdi Akef, said he was ready to send 10,000 fighters to Lebanon to battle Israel alongside Hezbollah.
But he admitted the chances were slim that any volunteers from Egypt would reach Lebanon.
"There are enough people but you would need Arab regimes to authorise their deployment or at least turn a blind eye on their departure," Mr Akef said.

The head of the International Centre for Terrorism and Political Violence Research's Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Rohan Gunaratna, said the jihadis in Southeast Asia could quickly develop the capability to carry out their plan in so-called third-country attacks. Although he said the numbers of recruits were probably being exaggerated to "provoke fear and anxiety", the group should not be underestimated. Dr Gunaratna said the AMYM had sent fighters to Iraq in the past, albeit in small numbers.

...Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qa'ida's second in charge, has already called for Sunni Muslims across the world to wage jihad against Israel.

The move comes as another group of fighters from a separate body known as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) announced it had 200,000 members ready to join the battlefield in southern Lebanon. "When we apply for passports we say we are going to Singapore or to Mecca, so that we can fulfil our true aims'" FPI spokesman Habib Hasan al-Jufrie said.

....The AMYM and FPI have been blatant in their past condemnation of the US and its Middle Eastern policies. The AMYM has allegedly previously threatened to attack US interests in Jakarta and has sent fighters to the conflicts in Bosnia and Chechnya.

....A spokesman for the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah, Abu Bakar Bashir, said the cleric "fully supports opposing through jihad".

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