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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/20/2002 12:31:52 PM EDT
Officials Say al-Qaeda Members Regrouping There USA TODAY March 20, 2002 WASHINGTON -- Armed with evidence that al-Qaeda members have fled from Afghanistan to Indonesia, Bush administration officials are pressing to get U.S. forces into the giant archipelago. But the administration faces opposition from an Indonesian government fearful of rising anger among its 200 million Muslims, and a U.S. Congress that severed ties to the Indonesian military in 1999. Intelligence sources say dozens of al-Qaeda operatives have found safe haven in the world's most populous Muslim nation, which consists of 17,000 islands and 34,000 miles of coastline. Some have come by air, but most have sneaked into Pakistan, then traveled several thousand miles in fishing boats from Arabian Sea ports, the sources say. U.S. allies are patrolling the waters off Pakistan and Iran to catch escaping members of the terrorist network, but searches of many ships have failed to turn up al-Qaeda members. U.S. intelligence and congressional sources say it's impossible to monitor all the sea traffic in the region. Some Defense Department officials say they want to restart military training missions that were halted in 1999 after hundreds of civilians were slaughtered in separatist East Timor. Congressional sources say the Pentagon wants to get forces on the ground to assess the strength of al-Qaeda. But a Pentagon official says that plan faces resistance from President Megawati Sukarnoputri, whose hold on power is weak and who fears that the presence of U.S. forces could inflame Islamic extremists, many of whom have close links to Indonesia's military and police. Almost 90% of Indonesia's 228 million people are Muslim. Indonesia is an excellent hiding place for al-Qaeda. The government has weak control over its far-flung islands. Al-Qaeda also had a presence in the country before Sept. 11. It trained a local Islamic militant group called Laskar Jihad. Another obstacle for the Pentagon is Congress. It has barred funds for military contacts until Indonesia improves the military's human rights record and brings to justice military officers responsible for the slaughter in 1999. This month, the State Department accused Indonesia's military of murders, rapes, beatings and torture. ''We would certainly like the handcuffs removed,'' a senior Pentagon official says. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who placed $18 million into the 2002 Defense budget for counterterrorism in the Pacific, hinted Tuesday that more money may be on the way for U.S. operations in Indonesia. U.S. forces are aiding anti-terror missions in Georgia, the Philippines and Yemen, in addition to Afghanistan. [url] http://military.com/Content/MoreContent/?file=FL_indonesia_032002[/url] Looks like if I join the Marines I might see a little action.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 12:43:10 PM EDT
I'd try to avoid that place. Between the jet lag and the 5 AM prayers blasted from the minarets over loudspeakers, you'll never get a good night's rest.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 12:45:51 PM EDT
17,000 islands...
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 12:57:25 PM EDT
17,000 islands. I can see the Marines salivating now...
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 12:58:35 PM EDT
Christ, that sounds like a military and intelligence nightmare.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 12:59:14 PM EDT
I would prefer that we don't. It's really opening a can of worms.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 12:59:19 PM EDT
this could get ugly. id like to see if there wasnt another way before i committed to this one.
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 1:04:49 PM EDT
I can't vouch for how true this is, (take it with a grain of salt)but several Austrailian friends of mine have all seperatly told me that on or about Sept 12, a New Zealand warship spotted a large group of ships massing in southern Indionesia. The big scare was that there was going to be an invasion of Austraila. The two countries have been shooting at each other on a small scale for a while now and things were getting pretty hot. One of my friends (a cop) said that the Austrailian government was starting to rethink the gun laws, but imediatly retracted the idea. Now there is no news of the subject, and the news stations down under are reporting bliss across the southern seas even though the situation is just as tense as it was. Like I said, This is only what 4 people who live there have told me, but it sounds like something is brewing. I don't think we can go through every island in a hundred years, but I think we should support any operations against any terrorist organization in the area. My friends have been saying for years that this has been a growing problem, might as well deal with it while all the other loose ends are beeing delt with. Ever notice the bad guys always pick the biggest S*&t holes to live in?
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 2:01:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cincinnatus: 17,000 islands...
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I hear they're looking for a new test site to replace "Bikini Atoll".
Link Posted: 3/20/2002 2:07:58 PM EDT
Please keep my niece in your prayers. She's with a mission group over there. We were unable to talk her out of going. Since I doubt she could carry a weapon, I gave her this advice: 1) Find out the location of the US embassy, or if you are far from there, the nearest counselate. 2) Find out where the local police station is. 3) Do not EVER go out by yourself. I've always felt that if a young person wishes to be a missionary, they should do work in America's inner cities. We have plenty of needs over here.
Link Posted: 3/21/2002 4:39:44 AM EDT
Is it too late to get one of the "War On Terror: World Tour 2002" T-shirts? [:)]
Link Posted: 3/21/2002 5:11:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: Christ, that sounds like a military and intelligence nightmare.
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As is the Philippines.
Link Posted: 3/21/2002 5:50:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
Originally Posted By RikWriter: Christ, that sounds like a military and intelligence nightmare.
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As is the Philippines.
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OTOH, the Phillipines don't have a majority Islamic population, do they?
Link Posted: 3/21/2002 7:14:55 AM EDT
Spent a couple of weeks in Surabaya and a weekend in Bali 3 years ago. Nice people overall. Due to the fact that they get a ton of European tourists (the original white trash), whenever they come across an American they always say "Oh! Americans are so nice!" I made the mistake of crossing paths with a group on school children outside an airport. They must have started taking "Inglise 101" because they all wanted to try out their first lesson on me. Every single one of them said "Hello Sir!" to me. And I of course reciprocated by saying "Hello little boy/girl" 36 times. My impression was that they weren't as militantly muslim as say, the Malay types, Indonesian women generally don't wear a head garment all that much. What they do like every now and again is a good old fashioned church burning. They probably throw a malatov a week into the random Catholic church there. Is it a dangerous place for Xtian missionaries? Probaly no worse than South America, or Los Angeles. If Uncle Sugar goes in there and tells them we want to give their economy a shot in the arm, help them get their manufacturing and industrial complexes up to speed with the rest of the world, they'll let us shoot/blow-up/kidnap whoever the hell we want.
Link Posted: 3/21/2002 7:26:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: OTOH, the Phillipines don't have a majority Islamic population, do they?
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" Almost 90% of Indonesia's 228 million people are Muslim. " 90% of 228 million that's uh, a bunch. 205 million. i'm not saying we shouldnyt be involved, i'm saying we should understand what we're talking about, consider the options, and choose the best one. i dont want to send [b]YOU[/b] there to get shot at if we dont need to.
Link Posted: 3/21/2002 9:42:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
Originally Posted By RikWriter: Christ, that sounds like a military and intelligence nightmare.
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As is the Philippines.
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OTOH, the Philippines don't have a majority Islamic population, do they?
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Negative on the population majority being Islamic. I was referring to large number of islands and the military and intelligence nightmare.
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