When Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri arrives in Washington on Wednesday, she will be the first leader of a largely Muslim nation to visit since the terror attacks. Initially the trip was to be a courtesy call, including talks with World Bank and International Monetary Fund officials, following an invitation from President George W. Bush soon after she came to power on July 23. But now Ms Megawati and her host have an opportunity to make several statements which could be pivotal to the announced war on global terrorism. With the relaxation of political and administrative controls in Indonesia since the fall of former president Suharto, the country has become a soft target for international illegal activities including money laundering, illegal migrant flows from Afghanistan and Iraq, the small arms trade and piracy. 'I don't think any of us here would mind if a lot of that stuff was tightened up, a lot more controls put in place,' said one Western diplomat. In return, diplomats said, Ms Megawati could demonstrate to the victims of the US attacks the motherly compassion she is renowned for and speak for the more Muslim parts of the world which fear Washington is rushing to judgment and condemning a religion along with bin Laden. The vast majority of Indonesia's Muslims - including Ms Megawati - practice a tolerant and moderate form of Islam. However, a tiny and increasingly visible network of extremist groups which take Islam as their standard has grown in recent years, stretching mainstream views on what is acceptable under the name of Islam. The risk for Ms Megawati is that she may be criticised at home for being too pro-American abroad.