The name means "Army of God Force," and its members work as security guards for groups who want Islamic law imposed in South Sulawesi Province. It's a legally registered organization.
After the Makassar bombings, police arrested 16 people, including five Laskar Jundullah members. When they raided the houses of those five suspects, they found semi-automatic rifles, bomb materials and, in the workshop of the alleged bomb maker, detailed sketches of Christian churches. (Laskar Jundullah is openly anti-Christian; Indonesian intelligence officials suspect that the group has been provoking tension in Maluku and Poso.) According to National Police Chief Da'i Bachtiar, one of the men arrested, Suryadi, is an associate of Imam Samudra, whom police say was the mastermind of the Bali bombings and a devotee of Abubakar Ba'asyir, alleged co-founder of JI. "Dwikarna, the bombers, Abubakar—all of these people know each other and are connected in some way," says South Sulawesi Police Chief Firman Gani.
Azwar Hasan, secretary-general of the Committee for Upholding Islamic Shari'a, denies that Laskar Jundullah, which sometimes acts on its behalf as an enforcer of Islamic purity, is involved in terrorism, and says it can't be held responsible for its worst elements. "It's like asking an army general to be responsible if a rogue soldier in his battalion breaks the rules," he says. When the foun-ders of the group them-selves are detained terrorists, the problem may be more than a matter of a few rogues.