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Coming to terms with terror

By Atika Shubert
CNN Correspondent

The Marriott Hotel bombing has been blamed on the JI network.
The Marriott Hotel bombing has been blamed on the JI network.

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- The world's largest Muslim population is confronting a problem it's long been ignoring: that homegrown Islamic militancy is fueling terrorism.

It's a message being conveyed by Indonesia's chief security minister, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in the wake of the bombing of Jakarta's JW Marriott Hotel.

"Indonesians must stop this debate on whether Indonesia does or does not have terrorism. Whether the attacks on Bali or at the Marriott are foreign conspiracies. Stop this debate."

The recent detention by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency of Indonesian suspected terror mastermind Hambali may hamper terror plots, but it hasn't stopped conspiracy rumors from circulating.

"I think the best way to minimize the so-called conspiracy theories, I think, is for the U.S. authorities to invite, to allow Indonesian police to join the investigation," says Islamic University Rector Azyumardi Azra.

The Marriott attack may have been the final straw in convincing many Indonesians that terrorism is in their midst. Terrorists may have chosen the hotel as a U.S. target, but 11 out of 12 killed in the attack were Indonesians.

"When Indonesians on their television screens see badly burned bodies of hotel staff and taxi drivers who are from the same income level as they are, from the same walk of life as they are, then they realize that this is really something that they've got to deal with and distance themselves from," says Sidney Jones of the International Crisis Group

That introspection may take time. Investigators blame the latest attacks on the al Qaeda linked terror network known as Jema'ah Islamiyah. But police refuse to use the name Jema'ah Islamiyah because it literally means "Islamic community."

Officials say it's too sensitive to name -- just one example of how Indonesia is still coming to terms with terrorism and militancy at home.


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