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Terrorism in Southeast Asia: Indonesia

Southeast Asia Map
NPR /
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The al Qaeda-linked group Jemaah Islamiyah has carried out several attacks in Indonesia since 2002's bombings that killed more than 200 people in the tourist resort of Bali. A crackdown by the Indonesian government has curtailed the group's capabilities, but the United States and other Western governments say Indonesia could be doing more.

But some analysts say police have done so much damage to Jemaah Islamiyah that many in the group's leadership are now rethinking the bombing strategy. Some of the hardliners have vowed to continue their bombing campaign. Others have fled to the southern Philippines, where they have found sanctuary in the Muslim-dominated island of Mindanao.

Jemaah Islamiyah's goal is the establishment of a pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia, and it has links to other militant Islamic groups in the region. In a series of reports this week, Michael Sullivan examines those links and the terrorist threat in the region. He begins in Indonesia, a frontline state in the war on terror.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Michael Sullivan is NPR's Senior Asia Correspondent. He moved to Hanoi to open NPR's Southeast Asia Bureau in 2003. Before that, he spent six years as NPR's South Asia correspondent based in but seldom seen in New Delhi.