Evidence Found for More Attacks on Christians

20 August 2003

Church service schedules have been found in a raid on terror suspects. The 
discovery was made days after the alleged mastermind of the Bali bombings 
shouted during his trial “We are ready to win the crusade against Christians! We 
will win!” Westerners and local Christians are clearly considered one and same 

Between 4-11 July police arrested seven suspected members of Jemaah Islamiyah, 
the Southeast Asia terror group with links to al-Qa’ida. In their raids they 
discovered three books containing the schedules of various church services and 
enough explosives for a blast ten times the size of the Bali bombs, which killed 
202 people on 12 October last year.

On 2 July, whilst looking at relatives and survivors of the attack gathered in 
the courtroom, alleged Bali mastermind Imam Samudra proclaimed that the crusade 
against Christians was about to be won. He was led away shouting “Allah akbar”. 
It is worrying that he was clearly identifying the westerners who died in the 
bombings as Christian. For most Islamic militants western and Christian are 
virtually synonymous and local Christians in Muslim countries have often born 
the brunt of extremist anger at the actions of western governments. In a later 
appearance he said of the Bali attack “If my actions touched the unbelievers … 
then that is justified in the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.” 
He continued that because of innocent Muslim deaths in Palestine and Iraq, 
Muslims had the right to kill westerners at will.

Samudra admitted involvement in the bombings but has recanted a confession 
implicating Abu Bakir Bashir in the blasts. Bashir is also on trial; he is 
accused of treason and of trying to set up an Islamic state in Indonesia. He is 
believed to be the spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah and is implicated in the 
Christmas Eve 2000 church bombings which killed 19 people. The White House 
announced on 14 August that the leader of operations for the group, Riduan bin 
Isamuddin has also been captured. Otherwise known as Hambali, he was once 
described by President Bush as “one of the world’s most lethal terrorists”. A 
further suspect, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, dubbed the Laughing Bomber, was found 
guilty and sentenced to death on 7 August.

Even though a few alleged members of Jemaah Islamiyah have been arrested by the 
Indonesian authorities, there appears to be a reluctance to openly condemn and 
clamp down on the group as a whole. The name of the group means simply “Islamic 
community”; the authorities fear a political backlash from Muslims if they are 
seen to be targeting Islam in response to western pressure. The group was 
probably responsible for the bombing of the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta on 5 August 
and, while it is thought that the Bali bomber died by accident in his attack, 
this was clearly an intentional suicide attack, the first in Indonesia.

Pray that the Indonesian authorities will not give up in their attempts to bring 
terrorists to justice.

Pray for God’s protection on the Christian community in Indonesia.

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