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Xinhua News Agency

Xinhua News Agency, 2005-11-19 10:33:37

Thousands of militants with foreign experience hide in Indonesia: report

JAKARTA, Nov. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Thousands of Indonesians with experience as Islamic militants in Afghanistan, Southern Philippines, Sri Lanka and Libya are believed to be residing in big cities in Java and West Sumatra although it is not known whether they were also part of the terrorist network led by the Malaysian terrorist duo Dr Azahari and Noordin M. Top.

The statement was made by two Indonesian intelligence agents in Singapore and Jakarta on Friday following a statement by Din Syamsuddin, chairman of Indonesia's second biggest Moslem mass organization, Muhammadiyah, that some 3,000 former militant fighters from Afghanistan had been recruited since 1980 to wage holy war in the African continent.

The two intelligence officers who refused to be identified said the number of Indonesian Moslem volunteers who took part in such wars in several countries had reached 5,000, Antara news agency reported on Saturday.

They were now believed to be living in several cities in West, Central and East Java and West Sumatra and even to have infiltrated a political party, the officers was quoted as saying.

Most of them have taken part in holy war in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Libya but there were no exact data on their number in East Java, they added.

Meanwhile, East Java Police had intensified their operations to dismantle a terrorist group led by Noordin M. Top following the recent raid in Batu, Malang, East Java that killed one of their top figures, Dr Azahari.

Both Noordin and the late Azahari are believed to be behind the series of terror bombings in Indonesia over the past few years. Enditem

Copyright 2003 Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved.

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