No surprise here, that is what Muslim schools and mosques are for.
Bruce Thai army claims southern rebels got military training at Indonesian Muslim schools By RUNGRAWEE C. PINYORAT Associated Press Writer BANGKOK, Thailand Thai Muslim youths received military training and terrorist lessons from religious schools in Indonesia to carry out violent attacks in Thailand's far south, an army spokesman said Monday. Col. Akara Chitroj said the youths received training in forming what he called RKK groups, from the initials for Runda Kumpulan Kecil, which can be translated as "small patrol group." He said the training took place in the Indonesian city of Bandung several years ago, before intense sectarian violence erupted in southern Thailand that has claimed more than 1,100 lives in the past two years. The government blames the trouble on Islamic separatist insurgents. He said that Thai alumni of the Indonesian schools returned to southern Thailand where they became teachers in Islamic religious schools, and trained young Muslims on how to carry out violent attacks. "When the situation is ripe, they use such tactics to carry out terrorist attacks," he said. He did not name the schools, or say exactly when the training took place. According to a report Monday in the Bangkok Post newspaper, there were up to 300 insurgents who had received such military training and some 3,000 more are expected to be trained in southern Thailand. It cited an unidentified army official as the source of the information. An official of the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok said that after reading recent sketchy reports about the alleged RKK trainees in the Thai press, the mission contacted the Thai military for more information, but had received no answer. The diplomat spoke on customary condition of anonymity. Indonesia's anti-terror chief, Police Maj. Gen. Ansyaad Mbai, said he had never heard about such a group. In December last year, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra charged that the militants behind the continuing violence in Thailand's Muslim-majority deep south had been indoctrinated by extremists in nearby Indonesia. Indonesian officials demanded proof of his allegations, and the matter was later dropped. A handful of Islamic boarding schools on Indonesia's main island of Java, where Bandung is located, are committed to teaching the principles of militant Islam, the most notorious being Pondok Ngruki, founded by Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged spiritual leader of the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah. Thailand's three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat have Muslim majority populations, who have long complained for being treated as second-class citizens in the predominantly Buddhist country. 051128 143236 Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. 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