Indo Enlists Muslim Leaders in Fight

Indo Enlists Muslim Leaders in Fight
November 17th, 2005  

Topic: Indo Enlists Muslim Leaders in Fight

Indo Enlists Muslim Leaders in Fight

JAKARTA (AFP): Authorities in Indonesia will ask the country's Islamic leaders to help prevent extremist groups from recruiting new members and carrying out attacks, police said Thursday.

National Police chief Gen. Sutanto will meet with Muslim leaders in a bid to prevent grassroots Muslims being recruited into their fold, police spokesman Arianto Anang Budiharjo said.

"Nowadays there are many misunderstandings about the concept of jihad, so that many people in villages become targets for their (militants') recruitment," Budiharjo told reporters.

At least two of the three suicide bombers who attacked restaurants in Bali last month, killing 20 people, as well as several suspected militants arrested in the past week came from small villages in Java.

Many of the dozens convicted over the October 2002 bombings on the resort island, which killed 202 people, were also from Javanese villages.

Sutanto, the spokesman said, will show the Muslim leaders several videos seized from a raided terrorist hideout last week.

They were shown to several prominent leaders at Vice President Yusuf Kalla's residence late Wednesday.

They include monologues by the three suicide bombers, as well as a warning of more attacks from a balaclava-clad man Kalla reportedly believed was Malaysian militant Noordin Mohammad Top.

Both men, thought to be leading members of the Al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) extremist network, were blamed for planning last month's attacks as well as the 2002 Bali bombings.

Indonesian police are conducting a massive manhunt for Noordin, who is among Asia's most wanted militants. His partner-in-crime and compatriot, bomb-maker Azahari Husin, was killed in a shootout with police last week.

Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim-populated state, with more than 80 percent of its 220 million people following Islam.