Future targets?

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In Danger

Nikolas Busse

Even with the first attacks on Afghanistan under way, Washington is setting its sights on other countries. U.S. officials see possible targets for "overt and covert actions" in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Although these countries are not among the "rogue" states, the brazen Abu Sayyaf terrorist group -- which has continually taken hostages in the southern Philippines under the pretext of an Islamic war of liberation -- has long been a thorn in Washington's side. And there have been more public demonstrations against the Afghan attacks in Indonesia than in the entire Middle East.

This is precisely where the danger lies for President Megawati Sukarnoputri's government: While the capture of Abu Sayyaf terrorists by U.S. special forces would probably draw cheers in the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, U.S. intervention could spark serious unrest in Indonesia. The largest Muslim country in the world, impoverished by the Asian financial crisis and wracked by religious and separatist strife, has been in danger of breaking up for years. Still, the United States, cut to the quick on Sept. 11, may not want to make allowances.

Oct. 10

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 2001


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 10, 2001


Indonesia is a big problem. Lots of oil comes out of theat country.

-- Uncle Fred (dogboy45@bigfoot.com), October 11, 2001.

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