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Homeland Security

SLUG: 3-770 Terrorism
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=8-20-03

TYPE=INTERVIEW

NUMBER=3-770

TITLE=TERRORISM

BYLINE=JAMES BERTEL

DATELINE=WASHINGTON

INTRODUCTION

Dr. Karl Jackson of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies discusses the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah and its links to the recent bombing of a Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.

MR. BERTEL

Joining me now to discuss the situation of terrorism in Southeast Asia is Dr. Karl Jackson, Director of Asian Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Thank you for joining us.

DR. JACKSON

Thank you.

MR. BERTEL

Since last October's bombing in Bali, has there been greater regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Southeast Asia?

DR. JACKSON

Yes, there has been. There is greater cooperation especially on the intelligence sharing side among all of the 10 ASEAN powers, but particularly amongst Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, because there is also regional cooperation on the terrorist side. That is, some of the training that goes on in Mindanao shows up in Singapore or in Indonesia. And this is something we've not seen before in the terrorist business in Southeast Asia. It's usually been one country's terrorist versus their government.

MR. BERTEL

Is this a phenomenon as a result of 9/11?

DR. JACKSON

Not necessarily. I think that 9/11 is a somewhat separate category. Obviously there is an internationalization of terrorism that's going on. But if I had to weigh local roots of terrorism versus international roots, I would still weigh the local ones more heavily.

MR. BERTEL

You've equated Indonesia's fight against terrorism as a civil war within Islam. What exactly do you mean?

DR. JACKSON

Basically, what you have in Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in the world. And what is going on is a fight between the more extreme elements of Islam and the much larger group of moderate Muslims in Indonesia. The latter group is measured in hundreds of millions. The terrorists are measured in thousands. But this is a battle for the soul of Islam.

MR. BERTEL

What can be done to win this war? Is it about guns and ammunition or is it about education?

DR. JACKSON

It's about both, oddly enough. Obviously you have to stop people from setting bombs in hotels, nightclubs and in other places. That's one part. That's a police function. But the other much more long-term thing is trying to provide educational resources for moderate Muslims so that children who are poor in the villages of Java will have some opportunity for eating other than becoming students at radical Muslim schools that sell poison with their food.

MR. BERTEL

Now, Indonesian authorities have confiscated some documents that say Jemaah Islamiyah is trying to infiltrate religious schools throughout Indonesia to recruit new members. Is this what you're talking about?

DR. JACKSON

The Islamic schools in Java have always been used as recruiting networks for radical Islam. This goes back to the 1940's. But what we should be doing policy-wise is providing resources that compete, compete for the soul of Islam, by providing more resources to moderate Islamic schools and to secular schools so that children who are without can go to them, not to these radicalized schools.

MR. BERTEL

So then does the international community, and maybe more specifically the United States, have a role to play in this?

DR. JACKSON

I think the United States should play a role, but I think the United States should also depend on like-minded powers to provide part of the money. If we could, let's say, out of the U.S. budget put together $100 million a year and get $100 million a year from other like-minded countries, with $200 million a year you begin to have an impact.

MR. BERTEL

Does the arrest of Hambali, who was considered the mastermind of Jemaah Islamiyah in Southeast Asia, does it make Southeast Asia a safer place, or are there others waiting to take his place?

DR. JACKSON

There are always other people waiting to take the place of people like Hambali. But Hambali had a personal network, a network of personal loyalties, extending out from him. And all of those linkages now need to be renegotiated. So it is very important that he was captured.

MR. BERTEL

Does Indonesia have the resources, and perhaps the leadership, to bring this to an end?

DR. JACKSON

It does not have the resources, in and of itself. It would be useful for more resources to be provided by the outside world. Obviously there is also a leadership problem. But the biggest change that has resulted from the bombing at the Marriott hotel in Jakarta is that Indonesian Muslims are now saying enough, these people, these extremists, are crazy, and we want something done about them.

MR. BERTEL

Karl Jackson, from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, thank you for joining us.

DR. JACKSON

Thank you very much.

(End of interview.)

NEB/PT



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