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Page last updated at 02:34 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 03:34 UK

Indonesian Islamists 'a threat'

By Lucy Williamson
BBC News, Jakarta

A mosque in Bali, Indonesia
The "war on terror" has not gone down well among Asia's many Muslims

Indonesia needs to focus on the threat posed by individual Islamist extremists, according to a new report by the International Crisis Group.

While the overall threat from terrorism has decreased, it says, extremists still have the potential to turn non-violent activists into militants.

The report looks at the case of 10 men recently jailed on terrorism charges.

It says that "charismatic leadership" was the most important element in turning the group towards violence.

"The sobering revelation" from this case, it says, "is how simple that transformation can be".

While the radical Islamist group Jemaah Islamiah has been weakened, it says, individual members, many of them wanted by police, can still provide the motivation and training to turn a non-violent group into would-be bombers.

While police competence and professionalism has improved rapidly in recent years, it goes on, much more needs to be done to build basic investigative skills.

The report also calls on the government to pay more attention to schools connected with Jemaah Islamiah - not because of what they teach, it says, but because of their role as communication hubs and places of refuge.

Jemaah Islamiah has been blamed for a series of attacks in Indonesia in recent years, including the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people.



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