Recently, communiqués have begun appearing on the internet from al-Sunnah wal Jammah Communication Forum, the mouthpiece of the Indonesian Islamist group, Laskar Jihad. The group was established in early 2000 by Jafar Umar Thalib, and in 2002, it publicly declared war against the Republicof South Maluku(Republik Maluku Selatan - RMS) Movement, a predominately Christian dissident independence movement in the EastIndonesianIslandsof Maluku. Since then, there have been numerous recorded attacks between the two groups.
The two most current communiqués describe recent activities in Indonesia. The first message describes a Christian attack against a Muslim village. As a result of the attack, the RMS forces evacuated a local base that was then destroyed by the Muslims. ?The outcome of this battle,? the communiqué reads, ?is destroying the RMS base, which is located between the two areas of Iyr Kulaam and Puniguru, which was evacuated by Christians before the Mujahideen got there.?
The second announcement describes the results of recent Christian-Muslim battles, claiming that in ?battles with the Christians, pleasant smells came out of the martyrs who fell on the battlefield.? In addition, the group lauds the power of prayer, insisting that ?Brother Ibn al-Barout was surrounded by Christian forces who threw a bomb a few feet away from him. He prayed that the bomb would not explode, and it did not blow.?
Full translations of the communiqués are provided to our Intel Service members.