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Raids anger Indonesia

Raids anger Indonesia

Author: Barbie Dutter in Sydney
Publication: The Daily Telegraph, UK
Date: November 1, 2002

Vice-President Hamzah Haz of Indonesia warned Australia yesterday that an anti-terrorism offensive against Indonesian Muslims in Australian cities could damage relations between the two countries.

He was referring to a series of raids aimed at flushing out sympathisers of the militant Muslim network Jemaah Islamiah.

The Australian government staunchly rejected criticism of the sweep, in which heavily armed intelligence agents and police have stormed homes in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, seizing documents, computer equipment and mobile phones.

The only arrests to date have been in connection with visa violations. Three men have admitted attending lectures given by Jemaah Islamiah's spiritual leader, Abu Bakar Bashir, during the cleric's visits to Australia, but denied direct links to the group, which is strongly suspected of orchestrating the Bali nightclub bombings that killed 191 people, including 88 Australians.

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