RealNews

Expert Warns of al-Qaida-Linked Groups

Al-Qaida-linked groups are training and recruiting militants to carry out suicide attacks that have become Osama bin Laden’s “greatest achievement” as his brand of extremist Islam spreads around the world, a terrorism expert said Wednesday. The greatest threats include Al Ansar Al Islami in Iraq, Jemaah Islamiyah in Southeast Asia, Al Ansar Mujahidin in Chechnya, the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Salafi Group for Call and Combat in Algeria, Rohan Gunaratna told a Southeast Asian outlook forum. Gunaratna said a fresh batch of Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists will graduate Jan. 15 from a camp in the southern Philippines. Based in Indonesia, Jemaah Islamiyah is an al-Qaida funded regional group believed responsible for the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, among other terrorist attacks in the region. The camp is run by the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or MILF, which is fighting for an independent Muslim homeland in Mindanao, Gunaratna said. He did not elaborate on the number of graduates or where he got his information, but Indonesia intelligence has also said there’s a recruiting drive for the group, thought to have about 3,000 members. Full Story

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