Sunday, October 01, 2006

Homegrown Jihadists ready to go

Some exerpts from the story:

A NETWORK of homegrown converts to radical Islam has emerged as a major terrorist threat in South-East Asia, teaming up with higher-profile al-Qaeda offshoots Jemaah Islamiah and Abu Sayyaf to plot attacks on Western and local targets. Manila's top anti-terrorism official has told The Australian that the group of former Christians known as Rajah Solaiman is highly educated and well-financed and lacked the profile of traditional Islamist terrorist groups, making it easier to evade detection.

Terrorist experts believe that while JI has suffered some significant setbacks in the past 12 months, its alliance with southern Philippines groups such as Rajah Solaiman mean it is still a potent force.

Rajah Solaiman has direct links to al-Qaeda's leadership and to JI's 2002 Bali bombers Umar Patek, who was killed last month, and Dulmatin, who is still on the run in the war-torn southern Philippines.

Nasir Abas, a Malaysian whose sister Farida is married to death-row Bali bomber Ali Ghufron, warned that while Top's ability to conduct large attacks had been diminished as the police net around him tightened, he remained in control of an unknown number of small cells that could still launch effective strikes. "Noordin's potential to conduct a major bombing is quite small, since Azahari's gone, as has Jabir, so that the number of people he could use (in an operation) is diminished," Mr Abas said.

Active terror elements in JI were now more focused on small cells operating independently of each other under Top's direction. "Just as with the second Bali bombing, they continue to be directly organised by Noordin," he said. "He is the big boss, with (Abu Bakar) Bashir continuing to be revered as a leader of the movement."

Full story here

The one and same convicted terrorist Abu Bakr Ba'asyir, the JI leader that the Indonesian government released from prison early.

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