Time was obviously not on the side of Australia and the US, right from the day respected alim Abu Bakar Basyir was sentenced to jail two years ago for a crime he was too frail to plan or carry out. On 14 June, it was like a discordant alarm-clock that went off too early for Canberra, the self-appointed deputy sheriff of Bush's international police force.
"Academic-turned-militant", "bomb expert", "terrorist", "Bali-bomb brain": these are just some of the abusive remarks that the media in Indonesia and Malaysia have borrowed from western news agencies to libel Dr Azahari Husin, who died on November 9 after what the Indonesian police claim was a shoot-out.
Muslim regimes have developed ingenious ways to convince the Bush administration of their commitment to the ‘war on terrorism’ . The latest is the ‘numbers game’ of arrested Muslim activists – the more people hauled in, the more unlikely it is that one will suffer the Saddam fate (or so they hope).