Terrorist attacks were way down in 2006. There were 17 bombings,
leaving four wounded and no dead. In 2005, there were 19 bombings, that killed
49 and wounded 183. Not all the 2006 bombings were by Islamic groups. Several
were apparently retaliation attacks by Christian groups. The lower death toll
this year can be attributed to police pressure on terrorist organizations.
Police continue to seek, and arrest, the skilled bomb makers and terrorist
leaders. In the last five years, over three hundred terrorist suspects have
been arrested in Indonesia, and two thirds of them prosecuted. The bad news is
that the government has been less vigorous in cracking down on senior religious
leaders who bless Islamic radicalism and, in private, Islamic terrorism.
27, 2006: Christmas passed with no terrorist attacks.
25, 2006: Aceh (western Indonesia) was hardest hit by the massive earthquakes
and tsunami (tidal waves) two years ago. But the billions of dollars in relief
aid has backfired in the form of corrupt officials who stole a lot of money,
and Islamic radicals who came in and used terror and force to hijack a lot aid
as well. One of the things the relief donations paid for was a religious police
force, to enforce Sharia (religious law). Thousands of Islamic radicals have
been hired to patrol urban areas, looking for people drinking alcohol, not
dressed properly (especially women), unescorted women, people not praying when
they should be, or eating at the wrong time. Violators can be arrested and
jailed or given a public whipping. The government allowed Sharia law to be come
the local law, for Moslems, in 2002. But it wasn't until all the disaster
relief money came in, along with Islamic charities (run by Islamic radicals)
that were able to grab a lot of the donated money, that it was possible to establish
a religious police force to enforce Sharia. Now the Islamic radicals want to
expand the provincial Sharia law to include amputations (for thieves), death
and applying Sharia to non-Moslems. The newly elected governor, a former rebel
leader, is opposed to expanding Sharia law, and he can veto such proposals. The
new governor wants to go after government corruption, while the Islamic
radicals are more interested in punishing bareheaded women, and diverting
relief funds to pay for it.
22, 2006: The Australian government warned its citizens that there might be
Islamic terrorist attacks in Indonesia over Christmas. Indonesia protested that
security had been increased for Christmas, and they had no information about
terrorist attacks. Australians were warned their might be attacks, but
not urged to avoid visiting Indonesia. However, since attacks in 2005, most
Australian tourists have avoided Indonesia, which has hurt the economy.