Bali bombing cleric Bashir will be next ?or FPI members?Indonesia Merdeka from islamxtrimist?corruption?poverty/nepotism?from modern world?

 

Bali bombing cleric Bashir sentenced to 2 years – bombers Imron and Amrozi are appealing for release
Bali and Mariott bomber was treated to a shopping and coffee outing by director of Jakarta anti narcotics brigade
March 3, 2005

 

 

 

 The bombs struck an area frequented by tourists

 

 

Bomber Ali Imron is considered a Muslim hero

http://swaramuslim.net/images/uploads/xfiles/cobra_aliimron.jpg

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/2485279.stm

MIM: Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country so there should be no surprise at the slap on the wrist for radical Islamist cleric Bashir, who sanctioned the Bali nightclub massacre, which killed more then 200 people. The lenient sentence provoked outrage in Australia and the United States.

The photos of the smiling defendants should be a broad clue to the West that many Indonesian legal and justice officials are openly sympathetic to the Islamist agenda of the defendants and that the victims of the terrorist atrocities could not have expected that Muslims would sentence fellow Muslims to appease ‘infidel’ Westerners.

The question is as to how long until Bashir will be considered for release, as is the case of bomber Ali Imron, whose lawyer requested Indonesia’s president pardon him on the grounds that ‘he had shown remorse’ and his cooperation with the investigation “had been a big help to Indonesia”.

The corruption is so rampant that it was even documented in a Jakarta News article entitled: Indonesia Mentally ill”.

The mental illness metaphor aptly characterises the schizophrenic mindset of Muslims, who harbor sympathy for the terrorists as co religionsist, and balk when, under pressure from the West, they, are expected mete out justice in accordance with the Western concept of a ‘rule of law’. The comraderie of Indonesia’s law enforcement officials with convicted terrorists is the best indication of where the country’s true loyalities lie.

In 2004 the head of the National police Dai Bahktar was televised world wide shaking hands with a smiling Bali bomber Imran Amrozi. A few months later Gorrie Mere, the head of Jakarta’s anti narcotics division, was seen with convicted Bali and Marriott hotel bomber Ali Imron drinking coffee at a Starbucks after a night of shopping in a wealthy area of downtown Jakarta last year.

“…One of the most important perpetrators of the bombing attacks in Bali and the Marriott Hotel is Jakarta was treated this week to an evening out….He drank coffee with the director of the anti narcotics brigade, Gorries Mere. After they were discovered that hurried to a waiting car and sped away…I often go out with Mr. Gorries”, Imron said Wednesday to journalists as he was hastily led from the shopping center.” (see below for translation of Dutch article ) http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:ckpfheS7UjYJ:209.59.159.30/nieuwsbronnen%2520internationaal.htm+moskowicz+nederland+arrestatie+&hl=en
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Cleric jailed over Bali bombs

 

 

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/08/27/1093518089909.html?from=storylhs

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=339999&in_page_id=1811&in_a_source=reuters&ct=5

An Indonesian court has sentenced fiery Muslim preacher Abu Bakar Bashir to two and a half years in jail after finding him guilty of an “evil conspiracy” to commit the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings.

The United States and Australia – which have both accused Bashir of being the spiritual leader of an Al Qaeda linked militant network called Jemaah Islamiah – quickly expressed disappointment that the sentence was not more severe.

A panel of judges said although Bashir had not been directly involved in the Bali blasts, he had in their opinion given approval for the attack, which killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

Hundreds of Bashir’s supporters inside and outside the court reacted with outrage to the verdict, shouting and raising their fists in their air.

“The defendant has been proven legally and convincingly to have committed the crime of evil conspiracy that caused fire that left other people dead,” chief judge Soedarto said, reading the Bali verdict.

“The defendant knew that the perpetrators of the bombing were people who have been trained in bomb-making in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

The court, guarded by 2,000 police, however found the 66-year-old cleric not guilty of involvement in the 2003 bombing of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta that killed 12 people.

Prosecutors had sought eight years jail for Bashir on various terrorism and criminal charges related to the two bomb attacks. Both were blamed on Jemaah Islamiah.

The United States said it was disappointed. “We respect the independence and judgment of the Indonesian courts, but given the gravity of the charges on which he was convicted, we’re disappointed at the length of the sentence,” said Max Kwak, a spokesman for the US embassy in Jakarta.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said: “It’s of some concern to us that the sentence is as short as it is. We’re disappointed about that. We’d like to see a longer sentence.”

The Bali attacks killed 88 Australians.

Bashir’s trial was seen as a test case for Indonesia’s judicial attempts to grapple with terrorism, but analysts and independent lawyers said prosecutors were hampered by flimsy evidence and reluctant witnesses.

The five-judge panel said Bashir’s sentence would have the 10 months he has already served deducted from it. A charge that Bashir inspired the bombings as Jemaah Islamiah chief was dropped earlier by prosecutors due to a lack of evidence.

Bashir had been charged with criminal acts of arson and explosion in relation to the October 2002 blasts on Bali, and under anti-terrorism laws in connection with the hotel bombing.

He has repeatedly denied all the charges and insists Jemaah Islamiah does not exist. His lawyers said they planned to appeal.

Angry supporters

Bashir earlier tried to calm his supporters. “We are allowed to get angry. A ruling that does not free me is injustice,” Bashir said as the session began. “But when we get angry, we must have our limits.”

Many supporters raised their fists screaming “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) when the verdict was delivered. Some stood on chairs as police formed a cordon around them.

As he was led away wearing his trademark white Muslim cap and with a white shawl wrapped around his shoulders, Bashir smiled broadly. Outside, his supporters waved banners and shouted anti-American, anti-Jewish and anti-Christian slogans.

Some had a picture of the US president with the eyes cut out and the caption: “Drag and hang Bush!”

Analysts said the verdict would be another black mark for Indonesia’s legal system.

“I think the image of the Indonesian judicial system will be hurt by this,” said Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, a political scientist from the Indonesian Science Institute.

However, Jakarta has won praise for trying and jailing dozens of militants involved in the Bali and Marriott hotel bombings. Three Bali bombers have been sentenced to death.

The trial was the second time in recent years prosecutors have gone after Bashir over militant violence. Most charges in the previous trial were dropped, and Bashir only served 18 months for immigration offences.

 

 

 

Bashir sentence shocks world

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1109820001961

Australia and the United States, allies in the American-led war on terror, said they were disappointed Thursday with the 30-month sentence given by an Indonesian court to the accused spiritual leader of an al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian terror group.

New Zealand also said it was dissatisfied and a Malaysian official predicted the relatively short jail term would make it easier for Abu Bakar Bashir to wield continued influence over his supporters.

A court in Jakarta sentenced the Muslim cleric to 30 months in prison for conspiracy in the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, but found him not guilty of three more serious charges, including ordering the attack.

The father of one victim slammed the sentence as representing just two weeks in prison for each Australian killed in Bali.

Judges also cleared Bashir of charges that as the alleged head of the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist group he planned the 2003 suicide bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta which killed 12 people, and that he incited his followers to launch terrorist attacks.

Bashir, who could be released by October 2006, had faced a maximum penalty of death in the three top charges.

“We’d like to see a longer sentence,” Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told Sky News, adding however that Australians could at least take a little comfort in the fact that he would remain in jail for at least one more year.

Downer said Bashir “without any doubt” had been “a spiritual inspiration to Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia” and played a role in the bombings.

A US Embassy spokesman in Jakarta also said the sentence should have been longer.

“We respect the independence and judgment of the Indonesian courts,” spokesman Max Kwak said. “But given the gravity of the charges on which he was convicted, we are disappointed at the length of the sentence.”

New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff said Bashir should have received “a more severe sentence. That (30-month) sentence will leave nobody satisfied.”

“It is a frustrating and disappointing outcome for everyone,” he said by telephone from the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, adding he was “confident there will be appeals from both sides.”

Regional security officials had expected Bashir to received at least four-year jail term, which would have made it easier to obliterate his influence among Jemaah Islamiyah and other extremists groups, Malaysian security official said.

The relatively short sentence simply means his links with Jemaah Islamiyah must continue to be monitored, said the official speaking on condition of anonymity.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty welcomed the verdict, but said he understood that the length of the sentence could upset some victims and their families.

“This is a significant conviction which demonstrates the tenacity and professionalism of the Indonesian National Police who have worked tirelessly to link Abu Bakar Bashir to the Bali bombing,” a spokesman for Keelty said on a condition of anonymity.

Brian Deegan, whose 21-year-old son Josh was killed in the Bali blast, called the verdict “outrageous.”

“What it represents mathematically is two weeks jail for every man, woman and child that was slaughtered and nothing for those that were inexorably injured,” Deegan said in a telephone interview. “As far as I’m concerned there is not a shred of justice here.”

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http://www.news.com.au/story/print/0,10119,12439219,00.html

INTELLIGENCE agencies would be updating terror threat assessments taking into account a possible violent response from the supporters of jailed Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty said today.

He said he was disappointed that Bashir, regarded as the spiritual head of terror group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) was only jailed for 30 months. But he said the key achievement was his conviction for conspiracy over the September 2002 Bali bombing which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Mr Keelty said it was not possible to know just how many supporters Bashir had in Indonesia or how many might now take up his cause.

He said more terror attacks were always on the cards and he could not disclose current intelligence about a likely reaction to the jail term.

“We were concerned about this at the time of his arrest because he is such a significant figure,” he told ABC radio.

“We will need to listen to the intelligence agencies and no doubt they will be doing updated threat assessments today in light of the conviction.”

An Indonesian court yesterday found Bashir guilty of involvement in the Bali bomb conspiracy and jailed him for 30 months – a sentence regarded by Australian Bali bombing victims and their families as extremely lenient.

Mr Keelty said it was disappointing.

“Don’t lose sight of the fact that the conviction is there,” he said.

“The actual conviction is a real milestone and shouldn’t be overlooked in terms of what’s happened here.”

Mr Keelty said he believed Indonesian police would be equally philosophical as many doubted he would ever be convicted of anything.

“They themselves would have seen this as an almost impossible task to convict Bashir so I think they would have been elated about his conviction,” he said.

Mr Keelty said he had no doubt Bashir was deeply implicated in JI and the Bali bombing.

“Absolutely, there is no question about it and you look at the people who have been arrested and what they have said about Bashir’s role and look at the evidence he has now been convicted on, that he actually met with (convicted bomber) Amrozi,” he said.

“He gave his blessing to the bombing or the activities that led to the bombing.

“The bombing was to send a message. There is no doubt he had this role. That is why the conviction is so important. The conviction actually records his role.”

Mr Keelty said Bashir was also linked to the Australian embassy bombing by way of Nurdin Mohammed Top and Azahari bin Husin, both linked to the Bali bombing and believed responsible for the embassy attack.

“We believe the connection is there. They remain at large. The Indonesian police have been working tirelessly on tracking them down. I am aware of where that investigation is at,” he said.

“They have eluded capture through very clever tactics and the adaptation of new technologies.”

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MIM: The corruption and collusion with radical Islamists in Indonesia is evident in the deference with which Bashir was treated by detectives whose solicitude about his health implies a religious reverence given to the cleric. It is evident that his fellow Muslims in the ‘justice’ and ‘law enforcement’ agencies sympathise with his views and activities. The two year verdict will most likely be overturned or reduced and was handed down due to pressure from Australia and the United States.

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http://www.khaleejtimes.co.ae/ktarchive/021102/theworld.htm

MIM: This picture glorifying Ali Imron and the Starbucks visit was posted on an Islamist Indonesian website

Indonesian police ready to question Bashir, says his lawyer

JAKARTA – Indonesian police were waiting to question terror suspect Abu Bakar Bashir at a Jakarta hospital on Saturday, one of his lawyers said. Ahmad Michdan told AFP he had received information that one or two detectives were waiting at the police hospital where Bashir has been detained since Monday.

Michdan said he was on his way to the hospital to assist his client during the questioning. But he said Bashir was sticking by his position that he did not want to be questioned by police, although he was ready to stand trial.

“He is a suspect. He has a right to remain silent,” Michdan told AFP. Police, who could not be immediately reached for comment, detained Bashir on October 20 after they named him a suspect in a series of bomb attacks on Indonesian churches in 2000. He is also accused of plotting to kill Megawati Sukarnoputri before she became president.

Detectives have been waiting for Bashir’s health to improve before questioning him. The militant Muslim cleric collapsed last month but his health has recovered enough that he is ready to face the police, Michdan said. Singapore and Malaysia have accused Bashir of being the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which is now on the UN list of terrorist organisations and which authorities allege is linked to Al Qaeda. The cleric denies JI exists.

Indonesia has been under intense international pressure to crack down on radical Islamic groups following the October 12 bombing in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali, which killed more than 190 people. Bashir is not a suspect in the Bali blast. – AFP

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Terrorist sentenced for life in Bali bombings taken out for shopping and coffee at Starbucks by director of the Jakarta anti narcotics brigade Gorries Mere.

 

 

 

www.swaramuslim.net/ www.smh.com.au/…/ 2003/08/06/1060145728413.htmlhttp://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:ckpfheS7UjYJ:209.59.159.30/nieuwsbronnen%2520internationaal.htm+moskowicz+nederland+arrestatie+&hl=en

In september 2004 Ali Imron, the Bali bomber sentenced to life dubbed”called the laughing murderer ” by the media was taken out to café with director of the Jakarta anti narcotics brigade, Gorries Mere.”after they were seen they hurried to a waiting car and left”. Australian minister demands an investigation. The perpetrator of the Bali bombing out for an evening of shopping. “it is usual to take suspects out if the police need information”. “Taking him out to the café for a drink is a usual method to obtain information about fugitive suspects”.

Perpetrator of bombing attack in Bali is allowed an evening of of shopping

Translated by Beila Rabinowitz director MIM:

One of the most important perpetrators of the bombing attacks in Bali and the Marriott Hotel is Jakarta was treated this week to an evening out. Imron, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in the attacks, was seen Wednesday evening in one of the most luxurious shopping streets of Jakarta. He drank coffee with the director of the anti narcotics brigade, Gorries Mere. After they were discovered that hurried to a waiting car and sped away.

Ali Imron is one of the main perpetrators of the two attacks, which claimed the lives of more then two hundred people.Two of their brothers, (Amrozi, who was dubbed the ‘laughing killer’ by the media),and Mukhlas Bin Nurhasyim, were sentenced to death. Ali Imron only got life imprisonment, because he was the only one who expressed remorse, and he was the only one who cooperated with the police after his arrest.

Imron mixed the chemicals and built the deadly bomb which totally destroyed two Bali discoteques which had been crammed with people. He had also trained the two people who would activate the explosion and drove the car with the heaviest bomb to a place close to the vicinity of the attack. Later on he also participated in the preparation in the attack on the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta, which claimed the lives of 11 people on August 5th of last year.

Imron is serving out his sentence in the jail in the Bali capitol of Denpasar. He was recently relocated to Jakarta, in order to assist with a follow up investigation. Gorrie Meer was his interogator from before. “I often go out with Mr. Gorries”, Imron said Wednesday to journalists as he was hastily led from the shopping center.

Gorrie Meer had taken Ali Imron to the ‘ Entertainment Xcenter’ one of the trendy shopping centers in Jakarta. They drank coffee at Starbucks where they talked undisturbed for 3 hours.They reportedly also visited the Hardrock Cafe’.

The commander of the National Investigations division, Suyitno Landung Sudjono, admitted that Imron was possibly taken outside by his interrogators in Jakarta.

The commander said this to the Jakarta Post:”It is customary for a convict to be taken outside prison if the police need information. To take him for a drink in a cafe’ is a usual method for obtaining information over other fugitive terrorists.”

The news about the evening out has caused outrage especially in Australia.Most of the victims of the bomb attacks on Bali were Australians. The Australian minister of foreign affairs, Alexander Downer, said he will investigate the matter. ‘We will not accept that this man is walking around freely’. We will investigate this matter and insure that this man is not freed”.

Ali Imron’s lawyer, Suyanto is hoping for the speedy release of his client. On Wednesday he announced that he had requested a pardon from President Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Suyanto finds that his client has earned his freedom, because he , according to the lawyer, has honestly shown remorse, and will not get involved in any other terrorist activity, and above all was an important witness in the investigation into the terrorist network in Indonesia. “Suyanto: ” Ali Imron has been a big help to Indonesia”.

A recent decision from the Constitutional court of Indonesia could also lead the the release or a drastic reduction in the sentence of Ali Imron. The court has recently nullified a new anti terror law in Indonesia which was applied retroactively in the case of the Bali bombing.

The death sentences which were handed down to the three main suspects in the bombing attacks, as well as Ali Imron’s life sentence, were based primarily on the anti terrororism law.

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Bombing accomplice Amrozi was dubbed” the laughing killer” by the media

Note that the law enforcement and legal officials behind him also share his glee.

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The picture to the right was captioned “Bomb”! cries happy Amrozi

By Darren Goodsir in Denpasar, Bali, and Stephen Gibbs
August 7, 2003

 

“…Amrozi, smiling as ever, expressed his glee at the Jakarta outrage in one word. “Bomb!” he shouted as he was led from court to a prison van yesterday.

On the eve of his sentencing for the Bali bombings, Amrozi said he was ready to be given the death penalty today.

His alleged mentor, Imam Samudra, was even more elated that Jakarta’s Marriott Hotel had been bombed, and hoped Jewish people were among the dead.

“Happy,” he told reporters excitedly when asked for his reaction to the latest atrocity.

“Thanks be to God,” said Samudra. “If it’s Muslims who have done it, then I’m happy. Especially if it was for Jews . . . hopefully.”

Samudra, 33, had yelled out in English as he was led into court: “Go to hell Australia! Where are the Australians…”

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/2485279.stm

“… Indonesian police faced strong criticism for carrying out an hour-long public interrogation of a giggling and gloating Amrozi before journalists on Wednesday.

Correspondents say the spectacle only served to erode the credibility of the investigation, while incensing Australians who bore the brunt of the deaths among foreign tourists…”

 

 

 

 

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Original article in Dutch translated above 
 

Dader bomaanslag Bali mag avondje winkelen
JAKARTA – Eén van de belangrijkste daders van de bloedige bomaanslagen op Bali en het Marriott Hotel in Jakarta is deze week getrakteerd op een avondje uit. Imron, veroordeeld tot levenslang voor zijn aandeel in de aanslagen, werd woensdagavond gezien in één van de meest luxueuze winkelstraten van Jakarta. Hij dronk koffie met de directeur van de Indonesische anti-narcoticabrigade, Gorries Mere. Nadat zij waren ontdekt haastten zij zich naar een gereedstaande auto en gingen er vandoor.

Ali Imron is een van de hoofddaders van de twee aanslagen, die aan meer dan tweehonderd mensen het leven kostten. Twee broers van hem, Amrozi (door de media ‘de lachende moordenaar’ gedoopt) en Mukhlas Bin Nurhasyim, werden ter dood veroordeeld. Ali Imron kreeg slechts levenslang, omdat hij de enige was die spijt betuigde over wat hij had gedaan, en omdat hij na zijn arrestatie als enige meewerkte met de politie.

Imron mengde de chemicaliën en bouwde de dodelijke bommen die in oktober 2002 op Bali twee stampvolle discotheken wegvaagden. Hij trainde ook de mannen die de bommen tot ontploffing zouden brengen, en reed de auto met de zwaarste bom tot vlakbij de plek van de aanslag. Hij deed vervolgens mee aan de voorbereiding van de aanslag op het Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, die op 5 augustus vorig jaar aan elf mensen het leven kostte.

Ali Imron zit zijn straf uit in een gevangenis in de Balinese hoofdstad Denpasar. Hij is onlangs overgeplaatst naar Jakarta, om daar mee te werken aan een vervolgonderzoek. Gorries Mere was zijn ondervrager van weleer. ‘Ik ga vaak op stap met meneer Gorries’, zei Ali Imron woensdag in het voorbijgaan tegen journalisten, toen hij haastig het winkelcentrum werd uitgeleid.

Gorries Mere had Ali Imron meegenomen naar het ‘Entertainment X’nter’, een van de trendy winkelcomplexen van Jakarta. Zij dronken koffie bij Starbucks, waar zij drie uur lang ongestoord met elkaar zaten te praten. Ook zouden zij het Hardrockcafé hebben bezocht.

De commandant van de nationale recherche, Suyitno Landung Sudjono, gaf toe dat Imron in Jakarta is en misschien door zijn ondervragers mee naar buiten is genomen.

Tegen de krant The Jakarta Post zei de politiecommandant: ‘Het is gebruikelijk een veroordeelde uit zijn gevangenis te halen als de politie informatie nodig heeft. Hem meenemen voor een drankje in een café kan een bruikbare methode zijn om informatie los te krijgen over andere, voortvluchtige terroristen.’

Het nieuws over het avondje uit van Ali Imron is vooral in Australië met ontzetting ontvangen. De meeste slachtoffers van de bomaanslag op Bali waren Australiërs. De Australische minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, Alexander Downer, zei de zaak te zullen onderzoeken. ‘Wij accepteren niet dat deze man vrij rondloopt. Wij zullen de zaak onderzoeken en wij zullen ons ervan verzekeren dat deze man niet vrijkomt.’

Ali Imrons advocaat, Suyanto, hoopt wél op een spoedige vrijlating van zijn cliënt. Hij liet donderdag weten dat hij president Megawati Soekarnoputri om gratie heeft gevraagd.

Suyanto vindt dat zijn cliënt de vrijlating heeft verdiend omdat hij, aldus de advocaat, eerlijk spijt heeft betuigd, zich nooit meer met terroristische activiteiten zal inlaten en bovendien een belangrijke getuige is geweest in het politieonderzoek naar het terroristische netwerk in Indonesië. Suyanto: ‘Ali Imron heeft Indonesië erg geholpen.’

Ook een recente uitspraak van het Indonesische Constitutionele Hof zou kunnen leiden tot vrijlating of drastische strafvermindering van Ali Imron. Het Hof verklaarde onlangs een wet ongeldig die de nieuwe antiterreurwet van Indonesië met terugwerkende kracht van toepassing verklaarde op de aanslag op Bali.

De doodstraffen tegen de drie hoofdverdachten van de bomaanslagen, en ook Ali Imrons levenslang, waren vooral gebaseerd op de antiterreurwet. (Michel Maas)
13 augustus 2004

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For this article and background information on the Bali bombings click on the url

newswww.bbc.net.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3157478.stm

 

 

The Bali bombing plot

The seeds of the October 2002 Bali bombings plot were probably sown in a hotel room in southern Thailand 10 months earlier.

At a secret meeting of operatives from South East Asian militant network Jemaah Islamiah, a man known as Hambali is believed to have ordered a new strategy of hitting soft targets like nightclubs and bars rather than high-profile sites like foreign embassies.

But it was not until August 2002 that Bali was chosen as the place to strike.

According to Ali Imron, who has been jailed for life for his part in the attacks, it was at a meeting in a house in Solo, central Java, that “field commander” Imam Samudra announced the plan to bomb Bali, and the main agents in the plot first came together.

 Their duty was to explode the bombs, they were ready to die
Ali Imron 

Bali was chosen “because it was frequented by Americans and their associates”, Ali Imron has said. He quoted Imam Samudra as saying it was part of a jihad to “defend the people of Afghanistan from America”.

In fact, more Australians and Indonesians would die than Americans, prompting speculation that the plotters were poorly informed, or orchestrated by other people still at large.

Hambali, who is now in US custody, is believed to have been the South East Asian contact for Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.

But he is not thought to have played an active part in the Bali plotting.

Instead, a 43-year-old Islamic teacher known as Mukhlas has been convicted for the overall co-ordination of the attacks.

Prosecutors said he approved the targets and channelled the funds to finance the bombings, even though Mukhlas himself claimed he just gave the bombers religious guidance.

He also recruited two of his younger brothers, Amrozi and Ali Imron, to carry out key roles in the attack.

Mukhlas and Imam Samudra are said to have chaired preparatory meetings in western Java during August and September.

Ali Imron has said that the Bali attacks were originally planned for 11 September, to mark the first anniversary of the terror attacks on the US.

But the bombs were apparently not ready in time, and the plans had to be postponed.

Final planning

The details of the attack were finalised in Bali between 6 and 10 October.

The bombers apparently all had separate roles.

A man called Idris, who has not yet stood trial for his suspected part in the attack, is accused of gathering funds and arranging transport and accommodation for the bombers in the days leading up to the attack.

Amrozi has admitted to buying the chemicals and the minivan used in the Sari club blast and Ali Imron to helping him.

Ali Imron has said a man called Dulmatin, whom Indonesian police are still looking for, helped assemble the bombs, and a man called Abdul Ghoni mixed the explosives. Ali Imron said he helped make the main bomb, which was used to bomb the Sari club.

He said a van loaded with explosives was driven to Sari by a man called Jimi, who died in the blast. A man called Iqbal wore a vest with a bomb in it, which he detonated in Paddy’s Bar.

“Their duty was to explode the bombs,” Ali Imron had said. “They were ready to die.”

Iqbal is known to have died in Paddy’s Bar. But Ali Imron has also told police that the two bombs exploded prematurely, which could have caught Iqbal out, so it is unclear if he was on a suicide mission.

With the conviction of Mukhlas, the last of those detained for playing a major role have now been sentenced.

But several key suspects remain at large.

These include two Malaysians – Dr Azahari Husin, who is alleged to be JI’s top bomb-making expert and the man who helped assemble the Bali bombs, and Noordin Mohd Top.

Their work was allegedly responsible for the massive explosions which rocked Legian Street in Kuta, Bali, on the early morning of 12 October 2002, leaving 202 people dead.

The attack was a team effort, but it has apparently provoked different reactions from those involved.

Imam Samudra is said by police to have stayed in Bali for several days after the bombing to survey the devastation he wrought and observe the reactions of people he affected.

Ali Imron has shed tears in court, and has repeatedly expressed remorse from his actions.

Amrozi has laughed and joked about his case, and gave a thumbs-up sign when he was convicted. He has said he is happy to die a martyr.

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Bali bomber Ali Imron – Muslim cleric Bashir

MIM: Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country .

The conclusions which the journalists draw about the “schizophrenia and hypocrisy” permeating the society have to be blamed on the religion, which was also the motivating factor behind the Bali and Mariott bombings.

 

 

http://www.infid.be/indonesiaill.html

The Jakarta Post, November 16, 2002

 

Indonesia mentally ill: Experts
 

Muhammad Nafik and Sri Wahyuni, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Indonesian society is mentally ill, as it has lost its sense of humanity and solidarity due to the current lawlessness and the lack of leadership on the part of the political elite, according to analysts.

They said here on Friday the nation badly needed to examine itself to strengthen its sensitivity toward those suffering and that authorities had to seriously enforce the law against criminals, particularly big-time corrupters.

“Our people are sick. They are confused and lack vision after decades of having been oppressed. There are no exemplary figures who are able to help them escape this problem,” Franz Magnis-Suseno, a professor at Jakarta’s Driyarkara School of Philosophy, told The Jakarta Post.

He said the people no longer treated others as “human beings rather than animals,” such that they crushed them just like cockroaches.

“It is a dark patch in our moral culture,” he said, referring to mass killings and other incidents of violence in the past.

Respected Muslim cleric and poet Mustofa Bisri had a similar view, saying the nation should reexamine itself to heal its serious ailments.

“Indonesia has suffered a heavy stroke and needs intensive care. So far we have shown no solidarity with suffering people … you see many ostentatiously display their wealth without feeling uncomfortable at all,” he said.

Mustofa, Magnis and other critics lashed out at the “public exhibition” put on by National Police chief Gen. Da’i Bachtiar with Bali bomb suspect Amrozi, who laughed, shook hands and posed for photographs during their face-to-face meeting at Bali Police Headquarters on Wednesday.

The image of the smiling, joking and waving Amrozi, televised across Indonesia and Australia, also outraged Canberra, which called them “ugly images” that would distress relatives of the almost 200 people killed in the Oct. 12 tragedy.

Magnis said the jovial greeting of Amrozi by the National Police chief was similar to last year’s public show of “affection” displayed by former chief of Jakarta Police Insp. Gen. Sofjan Jacoeb toward high-profile murder suspect Hutomo “Tommy” Mandala Putra, who was later jailed for 15 years.

At that time, Sofjan sparked outrage from analysts and human rights activists for hugging Tommy and, subsequently, appearing with him in a joint news conference following his capture after a year on the run last November.

“I think it is very alarming …, ” Magnis said.

Similarly, Muslim scholar Azyumardi Azra said the sense of humanity and social solidarity of the people was ebbing away due to the current lawlessness. “A man suspected of stealing a chicken is set ablaze. How can that be?” he asked.

Azyumardi added, “Our society is suffering schizophrenia and hypocrisy. People devoutly perform their religious rituals but at the same time they are corrupt.”

“The problem results partly from a lack of good examples set by our political elite, who mostly struggle for power. Malfunction of the bureaucratic machinery and poor law enforcement, which have eliminated the people’s trust, are other factors,” he added.

Social psychologist Darmanto Jatman of Semarang-based Diponegoro University concurred, saying the decades-long exposure to violence, both fictional, as shown on television and the movies, and real, had contributed to the eroding sense of humanity.

He said an indication of Indonesians losing their sense of humanity could be observed from their poor response to the Nunukan tragedy in East Kalimantan, where a score of workers died and thousands of others were stranded after being expelled from Malaysia.

“The fact, too, that many people here were reluctant to extend condolences to victims of the Bali bombings, because of fear of being claimed to be pro-America, is another example,” Jatman said.

————————————-

 

The Jakarta Post November 18, 2002
 

Corruption, lawlessness: The root of all problems
The Indonesian society is mentally ill as it has lost its sense of humanity. An good illustration of this was seen last week in photographs splashed across the country with Bali bombing suspect Amrozi and National Police chief Gen. Da’i Bachtiar, shaking hands, laughing and posing for photographers. Franz Magnis-Suseno, a professor at Jakarta’s Driyarkara School of Philosophy, talked to The Jakarta Post’s Muhammad Nafik and Sri Wahyuni about the issue.

Question: What’s your comment on the images of a police general smiling, shaking hands, and posing for photographers with terrorist suspect Amrozi?

Answer: I was really surprised looking at the images (of Da’i and Amrozi smiling at each other). It shows that we are collectively insolent. We do not know what is appropriate and what is not. This is a typical situation in our society in general. It is rooted in our dull sense of humanity and justice. It’s really hard to understand such a thing. There must be something dull within us, and this is very alarming.

Our dulled sense of humanity probably stems from the fact that we have shed blood and committed violence too much. People find it easy to consider others not as human beings but animals that they can strangle or crush like cockroaches.

I’m concerned that decades of ruthlessness and humiliation of human beings, and traditions to isolate parts of the nation from the rest of it have left scars on the body of this nation. Scars in the sense that the people have become unmoved and lack sensitivity. Spontaneous outrage against violence and injustice is no longer visible unless it has something to do with ourselves. This is an indication of a weakness in our moral culture.

Q: Would you elaborate further?

A: I’m trying to link it to how easily our people, especially security personnel, kill others. The communists killed many people, clerics and military figures, while the TNI (the Indonesian Military) killed many communists, especially in the aftermath of the 1965 coup. Millions of people had lost their dignity, such that efforts to rehabilitate them were met with protests from society.

We are watching the same things recurring in more limited incidents. The biggest one of course being East Timor, in which one fourth of its population died within years of the Indonesian occupation. Other examples include the incidents of Tanjung Priok and Lampung. None (of the masterminds) have ever been taken to court.

We also see a lack of guilt about Aceh, that the extraordinary violence that has been committed there is not comparable to the target of, say, crushing GAM. You may agree that the separatist movement must be eliminated, but why should it involve so many killings, torture, rape and deadly shootings without compunction?

We have also been shocked by the Bali bombings. The (government’s) response to the tragedy was not bad, but why shouldn’t it be declared a national tragedy? There was no statement of deep regret.

Q: But wasn’t the nation united in its condemnation of the bombings?

A: Yes, of course, but not a reaction of surprise, sadness, for example, by ordering the people to lower the national flag to half mast. I don’t think such a thing even crossed people’s minds at all. Again, it has something to do with the dulled sense of humanity.

Our poor legal system is partly to blame for this problem. Our cultural values, too. We no longer care for each other. Human relationships have worsened. The sense of community has developed into communalism, in which the people can only fully comprehend themselves in the community of the same village, ethnic group or religion. Others from different backgrounds are not counted and are instead considered as enemies or rivals.

Q: Are you saying that our society is mentally ill?

A: Yes. It is confused and lacks vision after being oppressed for a very long period of time, and at the same time there is no figure who can help it escape the problem. There is no figure like Sukarno (Indonesia’s first president) who was capable of providing the community with the feeling of pride in being Indonesian. We are poor and incapable of doing a lot of things, but we are proud to be Indonesians. But, I think, one of the main causes (of the lack of sense of humanity) is the domination by the military over people’s lives for more than 50 years.

The military used weapons and oppression, meanwhile no one could compete with them. They solved all problems by shooting, torturing, etc. The military has not really yet reformed itself in the context of nationhood.

Q: But there are groups of people from different religions or ethnic groups advocating peace, harmony and pluralism?

A: That’s right. That’s why we should not conclude that we are completely hopeless. Even within the security forces, there are (positive) values waiting for a stimulus to revive. They are capable of developing high values. However, because our life is now miserable due to the poor law enforcement against corruption, nothing can work well.

Corruption is very critical not just because it is economically critical and paralyzing our legal system, but it too has been gnawing at our ability to develop a sense of solidarity. Corruption has made people purely self-centered. In such conditions, it is difficult for Indonesia to develop. We can only be united if we come together.

Q: What solution would you suggest to deal with this problem?

A: We have to do so from top to bottom. From the top, from above means that we have to take legal action against those committing violence and other crimes. We have to eradicate corruption and take corrupt officials and murderers to court. For example, it has been a year since (Papua separatist leader) Theys Eluay was murdered but up to now no one has been brought to court. We don’t need to talk much about morality. It’s law and order that matters. So let the law be upheld first. We have to affirm that we want to be civilized and therefore stern action must be taken against all uncivilized deeds.

Religion, too, can play a good role. If it becomes exclusive and narrow-minded, it will encourage disintegration. Religious leaders are models. If they ask their supporters to behave patiently, tolerantly and fairly, and show solidarity with others from different ethnic groups or religions, then it will be a positive factor.

I am still confident, that if the situation is no longer chaotic, the sense of humanity that has already died will be renewed. National reconciliation is probably needed, but it should involve all. Partial involvement will be useless.

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No regrets says Amrozi
 
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PM – Wednesday, 1 October , 2008  18:26:00
Reporter: Geoff Thompson
MARK COLVIN: Indonesia, with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan over today, the guessing game has begun again over the execution date of the Bali bombers.
Previous statements made by Indonesia’s Attorney-General’s office suggest they’ll be shot by firing squad before this year is over.

The doors of the bombers’ prison in Central Java were thrown open to the media today as part of Idul Fitri celebrations.

It was there that our Indonesia correspondent Geoff Thompson came face to face with Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Ali Ghufron also known as Mukhlas.

(Sound of prayers over speaker system)

GEOFF THOMPSON: Prayers fill the courtyard of Nusakambangan and as the assembled media, watch through thick glass the dramatically black and white head-scarfed image of Imam Samudra is eventually filtered from among the many faces in the crowd.

Soon we are let in to the courtyard itself, and even before the ceremony is over to mark the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Idul Fitri, Samudra has bustled his way over to be closer to the waiting media to say that even as his execution date approaches he still has no regrets, and no feelings at all for the unbelievers he calls “kaffirs”.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Any message for Australia as your death approaches?

IMAM SAMUDRA: For who, for who?

GEOFF THOMPSON: For Australia.

IMAM SAMUDRA: For Australia? I said to him to Australia, they cannot stop Mujahideen movement. If they want to stop Mujahideen and if they want to stop they are better off (to stop) the sun and moon, okay.

GEOFF THOMPSON: What do you say to the hundreds of people you helped kill?

IMAM SAMUDRA: Which people, which people you mean?

GEOFF THOMPSON: The people killed in Bali in 2002.

IMAM SAMUDRA: For Muslim, I already said in the past year, last year that (begins to speak in Indonesian) For Muslim only, but for kaffir, for unbeliever – it is destiny. But kaffir, I no say sorry for kaffir. For Muslim, I say sorry for them.

GEOFF THOMPSON: So, not sorry, for the Australians who died?

IMAM SAMUDRA: No, no, no. For Australia I never sorry, but for Muslim I am very, very sorry for him, alright? It is accidental.

GEOFF THOMPSON: For men who have long said they are willing to die as martyrs, the bombers have attempted every possible legal challenge. The latest is a Constitutional Court challenge claiming that death by firing squad is torture. With this perhaps their last celebration of the end of the Ramadan month, I asked a long-haired and light-blue robed Amrozi, whether he felt any regrets towards the Australians he killed.

(Amrozi speaking)

“No”, he said in a tone of threatening jest “If I have a chance I will kill more, but not you because you are a journalist”.

(To Amrozi) How do you feel about dying? You will be shot soon through the heart and it may take seven minutes to die. How do you feel about that?

(Amrozi speaking)

“I don’t feel that I will be executed. I don’t think about it”. Amrozi says.

(Sound of Amrozi laughing)

(To Amrozi) Do you think you’ll be killed this year?

(Amrozi speaking)

“No, no, no, I never think about it”. Amrozi replies.

But Father Charlie Burrows at a nearby Cilacap Catholic church has been thinking about it a lot and appeared as a witness in a Constitutional Court to support the bombers claims that the death by firing squad is torture. His evidence is compelling because it was he who eye-witnessed the executions of two Nigerian drug runners on Nusakambangan Island a few months ago.

CHARLIE BURROWS: Well after they were shot they were, they were moaning for about seven minutes and real moaning, moaning in pain, they were…

(Sound of Father Burrows moaning)

And everybody at that stage was really, felt really bad yeah, because they went down for so long.

GEOFF THOMPSON: The bombers said they would rather be beheaded than shot because it was more humane but today Amrozi’s brother, Mukhlas was as defiant as ever.

(Ali Ghufron speaking)

“Kill one Mukhlas and there will be many more” he said.

Ali Ghufron then went on to praise God for the recent suicide bombing at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad and warned that once he is executed, his executors will be hunted down by his Mujahideen friends around the world. Asked what he would now say to the family to the 88 Australians who died in 2002’s Bali bombings, Mukhlas said “it’s all decided by Allah and they should say sorry to God”.

But many Australians think you’re just a common murderer.

(Ali Ghufron speaking)

“All the people say that I’m a murderer but the thing is we kill the murderer to make peace in the world. Why did we kill Australians? Because they fight against the Mujahideen”, Mukhlas said.

In Nusakambangan prison, this is Geoff Thompson for PM.
 

 

 

Conviction of Balinese Bomber Amrozi Recalls Rabin Assassin Yigal Amir
 

 

By John Gee
 

Amrozi Nurhasyim, the first of the Bali bombers to be captured and tried, was convicted for his role in the murder of 202 people and sentenced to death on Aug. 7. It is not certain, however, when or even if he will face a firing squad: it is not uncommon for Indonesians convicted of offenses carrying capital punishment to wait a decade and more before being executed. Amrozi is reported to welcome the prospect of “martyrdom,” but years spent cooling his heels in prison while the world moves on may take away its appeal.

Amrozi wore an inane grin when he was first paraded in front of the press, and he was wearing the same grin when he was sentenced to death. His look was reminiscent of that on the face of another killer half a world away: Yigal Amir, the law student who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Nov. 4, 1995, also wore a silly grin during his public appearances following his arrest. But more than an expression links the two men. Though coming from different religious backgrounds, they are united by an outlook. The grin comes from their absolute assurance that they are right and that they have their vindication in their professed religious belief. Amir could disregard the civil law of the State of Israel and kill its political leader because he believed that Jewish religious law has a higher value and that it mandated that Rabin should be killed because he endangered Jewish lives. Amrozi and his co-conspirators think that Islamic law takes precedence over that of the Indonesian state and that it obliges them to murder those they perceive as enemies in furtherance of a higher good.

In both cases, the killers were nurtured in an artificial environment of religious extremism, comparable to that of cults that do all they can to ensure that the minds of their devotees are monopolized by their prescribed views. Amir was educated in Israel’s religious school system and attended the religious Bar Ilan University. These are breeding places of extreme nationalism, with a religious coloring. From this environment sprang the rabbis who gave the religious opinion that Rabin and Peres were deserving of the fate of a rodef (one pursuing Jews) or a moser (one who hands over Jews to non-Jews), upon which Amir based his claim to religious support. His closest companions were West Bank settlers and their supporters. As a young man, Amrozi’s main interests were girls and his motorbike, but he later became religious.

That much is not unusual in Indonesia, but Amrozi attended a Javanese religious school established by Abu Bakar Bashir, now accused of being the intellectual leader of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist group. From there, he went to Ulu Tiram in Malaysia from 1992 to 1995, taking Qur’an classes conducted by Bashir, who had fled Indonesia. Upon his return home, Amrozi chose to associate largely with people who shared his newfound extremist perspective.

It is not known whether Amrozi shares Amir’s delusion that his action had the overwhelming support of public opinion in his country, and that he was striking a blow for them, as well as for God, but he certainly partakes of Amir’s belief that he will inspire others: “I’ll be happy to die a martyr,” he said when facing judgment. “After me, there will be a million more Amrozis.”

But he’s wrong. While there will be those who choose to imitate him, the overall impact of the Bali bombing and a number of other attacks ascribed to the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) network in recent months has undermined the organization’s goal of establishing an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim areas of Southeast Asia (Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, southern Thailand, and the southern Philippines).

The uncovering of the network and its ties to al-Qaeda encouraged greater regional co-operation between the security forces of the states in the region. The biggest change occured in Indonesia, where the government long had denied that a JI terrorist network existed, leaving its supporters to recruit and train with impunity. The Bali blast led to an abrupt about-face, with anti-terrorist legislation rushed through and a determined police drive to round up the perpetrators and their associates.

More significantly for the long term, the Indonesian authorities’ moves were made in the context of widespread public condemnation of the Bali bombing and other JI attacks. All the major Muslim organizations in the country, as well as non-religious bodies and parties, condemned them. Among activists who have pushed for wider application of Islamic law, there is a feeling that their cause has been harmed: even though they are not organizationally tied to the JI terrorist network, there is a “guilt by association” effect.

The Aug. 5 bomb attack on the Jakarta Marriott merely emphasized the division between the JI and the vast majority of Indonesian Muslims. There was speculation in the media that the attack was timed to come just before the verdict on Amrozi was delivered, as a pre-emptive retaliatory action. On the face of it, this was a blow against a symbol of U.S. global business power, but of the 10 people confirmed as having been killed in the blast, nine were poor Indonesians. Four were taxi-drivers, waiting to pick up fares: each had young children to support. Others were incapacitated by injury.

The Indonesian economy had been performing well in the months leading up to the bombing—although quite why is something of a mystery. Following the Jakarta Marriott attack, there were fears that an economic setback would ensue, which also would fall hardest upon Indonesia’s poor.

Amrozi might yet have the grin wiped off his face when he sees how the actions he and his associates have carried out backfire and lead to them being isolated and defeated. Amir, unfortunately, still has plenty to smile about: the settlers whose cause he espoused still sit upon occupied Palestinian land, their interests defended by a government composed mainly of political leaders who could not stomach the limited concessions Rabin made to the Palestinians while he was alive. Meanwhile, Israel’s chief supporter—Washington—has yet to show that it is ready to put decisive pressure upon the Jewish state to withdraw—in contrast to the attitude it showed toward Indonesia when its government was still dilly-dallying over combatting terrorists organizing within its borders.

 

An East Asian Casualty
 

The war on Iraq has had many consequences that its architects and supporters did not anticipate. By pushing for international backing for the war in the teeth of public opposition, the Bush and Blair administrations widened breeches in many countries between democratically elected governments and citizens sick of unaccountable politicians who do what they choose irrespective of their peoples’ will. American neoconservatives, who supposedly favor democratization worldwide, thus pursued a course in furtherance of their goals in Iraq which encouraged disenchantment with the process of democratic government in places where it already exists.

In East Asia, one consequence of the war has been the subversion of the Japanese constitution. It was adopted when Japan was still under U.S. occupation following the Second World War. Article IX renounced war as a “sovereign right of the nation” and pledged that Japan would never maintain “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential.” The intention was to reassure other countries—not least neighboring Korea and China—that Japan had turned its back on the militarism which had led its army into occupying the former and waging a long and bitter war to impose its rule on the latter. In the entire course of the Sino-Japanese war, as many as 30 million Chinese may have died, thus making China’s losses even greater than those of the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945.

The “pacifist constitution” was diluted, in effect, following the restoration of Japan’s sovereignty in 1952. A Defense Agency was established, but its armed personnel were still meant to serve only in the direct defense of Japan. Although relations with China and South Korea were sometimes prickly, those countries were reassured to a large extent that Japan did not pose a military threat to them. For its part, Japan benefitted by keeping its military spending to 1 percent of its GNP, relying chiefly on the U.S. for its defense. Such was the growth of the Japanese economy over the next 50 years that that 1 percent could pay for a highly efficient and well-armed force.

The low-level war in Iraq that continued after President George W. Bush announced the end of major hostilities May 1 impelled Washington to seek to share the burden of occupation. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi saw advantages in pushing for Japanese troops to be sent to Iraq: the move would certainly be welcomed in Washington, but it also would open the way to further overseas deployments in the future. After heated debate—not to mention fisticuffs—a bill to allow the sending of Japanese troops for non-combat duties in Iraq was passed through parliament. Defense Agency officials already had said that they were considering running Arabic-language statements on television and radio stations available in Iraq to try to win Iraqi sympathy for the deployment of Japanese troops. The government is worried that, if there are Japanese casualties in Iraq, it will rebound very badly for it.

Korean and Chinese fears of Japanese militarism may seem to be exaggerated and unwarranted, but they are nonetheless real. The Bush administration’s determination to go to war in Iraq may thus have indirectly contributed to a heightening of tensions in East Asia.

 

Tempting Fate?
 

Over in Singapore, we get the television show “Smallville,” about Superman’s teen-age years, later than Americans, of course. I was a little surprised recently to find myself viewing an episode that came close to home. In “Visage,” Lana Lang’s ex-boyfriend, who left Smallville to join the army, is seen on patrol in a foreign land. His unit comes under fire and he is cut down by an explosion. According to the subtitles, he is in Aceh, in Indonesia.

OK: I shouldn’t take this too seriously, but why, even in “Smallville,” send U.S. soldiers to fight in Aceh?

 

A question of death
Compiled by Vikki Leone, The Age Education Unit
The Age, Monday August 18, 2003

 
Convicted Bali bomber Amrozi has been sentenced to death, reigniting the capital punishment debate.

What is capital punishment?
 

Capital punishment, or the death penalty as it is also known, refers to executions sanctioned by the state. The most common forms of capital punishment include electrocution, gas, firing squads, lethal injections and hanging.
 

What do Australians think?
 

In early August, Amrozi was sentenced to death by firing squad for his role in the Bali bombings in which 202 people died, including 88 Australians. His sentence has generated widespread debate. A survey conducted by market researchers Quantum Australia SCAN after the Bali bombing showed an increase in the number of people in Australia who supported the death penalty; 51 per cent of respondents were in favour of the death penalty, 31 per cent against, and 18 per cent were unsure.
 

Is the death penalty an appropriate punishment?
 

Few dispute that criminals, such as Amrozi, whose horrific acts of violence have caused such suffering, should be dealt with severely. But whether the death penalty is a fitting punishment is highly controversial.
 

Recent headlines
“Killing Amrozi won’t bring peace” The Sunday Age, August 10, 2003.
“PM sparks death debate” The Sunday Age, August 10, 2003.
“PM stands by support for Amrozi execution” The Age, August 9, 2003.
“Some toast with champagne, others don’t want to know” The Age, August 8, 2003.
What The Age says
 

“The Age believes the death penalty, even in response to such outrages, achieves nothing. It might temporarily satisfy a desire for revenge, but it will not bring back the Bali dead or honour their memory.”
 

What people say
 

“Statistics prove without exception that no vicious killer has gone on to do it again after being executed. Many have, though, where there is no capital punishment.”
 

Your view
Can violence bring about justice? Is it right to punish violence with more violence? Should Australia reintroduce the death penalty? Do you support the execution of Amrozi? Students are encouraged to share their views on this issue. Submit your view online

Leon Flinkler, The Age, August 11, 2003.

“I have no sympathy for his acts of violence and yet the death sentence reflects, philosophically, the same lack of human respect that the bombing is about.”

Psychologist Annie Cantwell-Bartl, The Age, August 10, 2003.

Were Amrozi to be tried in Australia, we would not execute him. Since we are not prepared to have his blood on our own hands, it is cowardice and hypocrisy to praise the decision to be enacted by someone else. Of course he should be brought to justice, but killing in recompense for his killing just makes us barbaric.”

Jen Harrison, The Age, August 9, 2003.

The death penalty is a crime against humanity just as much as terrorism is. Killing each other will never be the answer.”

Esther Mitchell, The Age, August 9, 2003.

“I know lots of Australians who believe that a death penalty is appropriate and they are not barbaric, they are not insensitive, they’re not vindictive, they’re not vengeful, they’re people who believe that if you take another’s life deliberately then justice requires that your life be taken.”

Prime Minister John Howard, The Age, August 9, 2003.

Killing them (the accused) is an act of despair that says the only thing we can do with you, since you did this, is to imitate you. It shows that we as a society have sunk to their level.”

Sister Helen Prejean, whose book Dead Man Walking was made into a film. The Age August 8, 2003.

It was most important to us. That Amrozi has killed over 200 people, including two of my daughters, Renae and Simone – my only daughters – and he has got his just reward: death.”

Danny Hanley, The Age, August 8, 2003.

Editorial opinion, The Age August 7, 2003.

The Labor and Liberal parties are both officially opposed to the death penalty but many have applauded the Indonesian court’s decision. Prime Minister John Howard has shown his support for Amrozi’s death sentence. For some of the family and friends of Bali victims, there was satisfaction, even delight, at the judgement. Some were comforted by the death sentence and thought it a suitable penalty. Supporters of the death penalty argue “an eye for an eye” – Amrozi got what he deserved.

Critics of the death penalty say data suggests capital punishment is no more a deterrent to the offence of murder than imprisonment. They argue that countries that have abolished capital punishment have not experienced significant increases in the murder rate. In Amrozi’s case, some fear his execution might act as an incentive rather than a warning to other potential terrorists. Killing Amrozi also means that police lose the opportunity for further co-operation in their investigations.

Opponents of capital punishment argue that it is hypocritical to execute someone for murder. They question whether execution of a murderer will bring closure to those families who have suffered the death of a loved one.

Opponents question how many innocent people have been killed by the state – there is always the possibility of a miscarriage of justice. There are numerous historical examples of this. South Australian Edward Splatt served more than six years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

This compares to an average figure of 44 per cent of people in favour of the death penalty over the previous five years.

Social analyst David Chalke was not surprised by the results. He says: “You find whenever you get a horrific murder you get a responsive jump.” He warns that surveys taken at controversial times may be unrepresentative of long-term views.

Amrozi will appeal against his sentence.

According to Amnesty International, in 2002 at least 1526 people were executed. Of all known executions, 81 per cent occur in China, Iran and the US.

The last person to be executed in Australia was Ronald Ryan, hanged in Victoria in 1967 for the murder of a prison warden.

Despite the abolition of the death penalty in Australia, horrific crimes often prompt renewed debate about the appropriateness of the death sentence as a penalty.

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PM – Wednesday, 1 October , 2008  18:26:00
Reporter: Geoff Thompson
MARK COLVIN: Indonesia, with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan over today, the guessing game has begun again over the execution date of the Bali bombers.
Previous statements made by Indonesia’s Attorney-General’s office suggest they’ll be shot by firing squad before this year is over.

The doors of the bombers’ prison in Central Java were thrown open to the media today as part of Idul Fitri celebrations.

It was there that our Indonesia correspondent Geoff Thompson came face to face with Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Ali Ghufron also known as Mukhlas.

(Sound of prayers over speaker system)

GEOFF THOMPSON: Prayers fill the courtyard of Nusakambangan and as the assembled media, watch through thick glass the dramatically black and white head-scarfed image of Imam Samudra is eventually filtered from among the many faces in the crowd.

Soon we are let in to the courtyard itself, and even before the ceremony is over to mark the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Idul Fitri, Samudra has bustled his way over to be closer to the waiting media to say that even as his execution date approaches he still has no regrets, and no feelings at all for the unbelievers he calls “kaffirs”.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Any message for Australia as your death approaches?

IMAM SAMUDRA: For who, for who?

GEOFF THOMPSON: For Australia.

IMAM SAMUDRA: For Australia? I said to him to Australia, they cannot stop Mujahideen movement. If they want to stop Mujahideen and if they want to stop they are better off (to stop) the sun and moon, okay.

GEOFF THOMPSON: What do you say to the hundreds of people you helped kill?

IMAM SAMUDRA: Which people, which people you mean?

GEOFF THOMPSON: The people killed in Bali in 2002.

IMAM SAMUDRA: For Muslim, I already said in the past year, last year that (begins to speak in Indonesian) For Muslim only, but for kaffir, for unbeliever – it is destiny. But kaffir, I no say sorry for kaffir. For Muslim, I say sorry for them.

GEOFF THOMPSON: So, not sorry, for the Australians who died?

IMAM SAMUDRA: No, no, no. For Australia I never sorry, but for Muslim I am very, very sorry for him, alright? It is accidental.

GEOFF THOMPSON: For men who have long said they are willing to die as martyrs, the bombers have attempted every possible legal challenge. The latest is a Constitutional Court challenge claiming that death by firing squad is torture. With this perhaps their last celebration of the end of the Ramadan month, I asked a long-haired and light-blue robed Amrozi, whether he felt any regrets towards the Australians he killed.

(Amrozi speaking)

“No”, he said in a tone of threatening jest “If I have a chance I will kill more, but not you because you are a journalist”.

(To Amrozi) How do you feel about dying? You will be shot soon through the heart and it may take seven minutes to die. How do you feel about that?

(Amrozi speaking)

“I don’t feel that I will be executed. I don’t think about it”. Amrozi says.

(Sound of Amrozi laughing)

(To Amrozi) Do you think you’ll be killed this year?

(Amrozi speaking)

“No, no, no, I never think about it”. Amrozi replies.

But Father Charlie Burrows at a nearby Cilacap Catholic church has been thinking about it a lot and appeared as a witness in a Constitutional Court to support the bombers claims that the death by firing squad is torture. His evidence is compelling because it was he who eye-witnessed the executions of two Nigerian drug runners on Nusakambangan Island a few months ago.

CHARLIE BURROWS: Well after they were shot they were, they were moaning for about seven minutes and real moaning, moaning in pain, they were…

(Sound of Father Burrows moaning)

And everybody at that stage was really, felt really bad yeah, because they went down for so long.

GEOFF THOMPSON: The bombers said they would rather be beheaded than shot because it was more humane but today Amrozi’s brother, Mukhlas was as defiant as ever.

(Ali Ghufron speaking)

“Kill one Mukhlas and there will be many more” he said.

Ali Ghufron then went on to praise God for the recent suicide bombing at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad and warned that once he is executed, his executors will be hunted down by his Mujahideen friends around the world. Asked what he would now say to the family to the 88 Australians who died in 2002’s Bali bombings, Mukhlas said “it’s all decided by Allah and they should say sorry to God”.

But many Australians think you’re just a common murderer.

(Ali Ghufron speaking)

“All the people say that I’m a murderer but the thing is we kill the murderer to make peace in the world. Why did we kill Australians? Because they fight against the Mujahideen”, Mukhlas said.

In Nusakambangan prison, this is Geoff Thompson for PM.
 

 

 

Conviction of Balinese Bomber Amrozi Recalls Rabin Assassin Yigal Amir
 

 

By John Gee
 

Amrozi Nurhasyim, the first of the Bali bombers to be captured and tried, was convicted for his role in the murder of 202 people and sentenced to death on Aug. 7. It is not certain, however, when or even if he will face a firing squad: it is not uncommon for Indonesians convicted of offenses carrying capital punishment to wait a decade and more before being executed. Amrozi is reported to welcome the prospect of “martyrdom,” but years spent cooling his heels in prison while the world moves on may take away its appeal.

Amrozi wore an inane grin when he was first paraded in front of the press, and he was wearing the same grin when he was sentenced to death. His look was reminiscent of that on the face of another killer half a world away: Yigal Amir, the law student who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Nov. 4, 1995, also wore a silly grin during his public appearances following his arrest. But more than an expression links the two men. Though coming from different religious backgrounds, they are united by an outlook. The grin comes from their absolute assurance that they are right and that they have their vindication in their professed religious belief. Amir could disregard the civil law of the State of Israel and kill its political leader because he believed that Jewish religious law has a higher value and that it mandated that Rabin should be killed because he endangered Jewish lives. Amrozi and his co-conspirators think that Islamic law takes precedence over that of the Indonesian state and that it obliges them to murder those they perceive as enemies in furtherance of a higher good.

In both cases, the killers were nurtured in an artificial environment of religious extremism, comparable to that of cults that do all they can to ensure that the minds of their devotees are monopolized by their prescribed views. Amir was educated in Israel’s religious school system and attended the religious Bar Ilan University. These are breeding places of extreme nationalism, with a religious coloring. From this environment sprang the rabbis who gave the religious opinion that Rabin and Peres were deserving of the fate of a rodef (one pursuing Jews) or a moser (one who hands over Jews to non-Jews), upon which Amir based his claim to religious support. His closest companions were West Bank settlers and their supporters. As a young man, Amrozi’s main interests were girls and his motorbike, but he later became religious.

That much is not unusual in Indonesia, but Amrozi attended a Javanese religious school established by Abu Bakar Bashir, now accused of being the intellectual leader of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist group. From there, he went to Ulu Tiram in Malaysia from 1992 to 1995, taking Qur’an classes conducted by Bashir, who had fled Indonesia. Upon his return home, Amrozi chose to associate largely with people who shared his newfound extremist perspective.

It is not known whether Amrozi shares Amir’s delusion that his action had the overwhelming support of public opinion in his country, and that he was striking a blow for them, as well as for God, but he certainly partakes of Amir’s belief that he will inspire others: “I’ll be happy to die a martyr,” he said when facing judgment. “After me, there will be a million more Amrozis.”

But he’s wrong. While there will be those who choose to imitate him, the overall impact of the Bali bombing and a number of other attacks ascribed to the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) network in recent months has undermined the organization’s goal of establishing an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim areas of Southeast Asia (Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, southern Thailand, and the southern Philippines).

The uncovering of the network and its ties to al-Qaeda encouraged greater regional co-operation between the security forces of the states in the region. The biggest change occured in Indonesia, where the government long had denied that a JI terrorist network existed, leaving its supporters to recruit and train with impunity. The Bali blast led to an abrupt about-face, with anti-terrorist legislation rushed through and a determined police drive to round up the perpetrators and their associates.

More significantly for the long term, the Indonesian authorities’ moves were made in the context of widespread public condemnation of the Bali bombing and other JI attacks. All the major Muslim organizations in the country, as well as non-religious bodies and parties, condemned them. Among activists who have pushed for wider application of Islamic law, there is a feeling that their cause has been harmed: even though they are not organizationally tied to the JI terrorist network, there is a “guilt by association” effect.

The Aug. 5 bomb attack on the Jakarta Marriott merely emphasized the division between the JI and the vast majority of Indonesian Muslims. There was speculation in the media that the attack was timed to come just before the verdict on Amrozi was delivered, as a pre-emptive retaliatory action. On the face of it, this was a blow against a symbol of U.S. global business power, but of the 10 people confirmed as having been killed in the blast, nine were poor Indonesians. Four were taxi-drivers, waiting to pick up fares: each had young children to support. Others were incapacitated by injury.

The Indonesian economy had been performing well in the months leading up to the bombing—although quite why is something of a mystery. Following the Jakarta Marriott attack, there were fears that an economic setback would ensue, which also would fall hardest upon Indonesia’s poor.

Amrozi might yet have the grin wiped off his face when he sees how the actions he and his associates have carried out backfire and lead to them being isolated and defeated. Amir, unfortunately, still has plenty to smile about: the settlers whose cause he espoused still sit upon occupied Palestinian land, their interests defended by a government composed mainly of political leaders who could not stomach the limited concessions Rabin made to the Palestinians while he was alive. Meanwhile, Israel’s chief supporter—Washington—has yet to show that it is ready to put decisive pressure upon the Jewish state to withdraw—in contrast to the attitude it showed toward Indonesia when its government was still dilly-dallying over combatting terrorists organizing within its borders.

 

An East Asian Casualty
 

The war on Iraq has had many consequences that its architects and supporters did not anticipate. By pushing for international backing for the war in the teeth of public opposition, the Bush and Blair administrations widened breeches in many countries between democratically elected governments and citizens sick of unaccountable politicians who do what they choose irrespective of their peoples’ will. American neoconservatives, who supposedly favor democratization worldwide, thus pursued a course in furtherance of their goals in Iraq which encouraged disenchantment with the process of democratic government in places where it already exists.

In East Asia, one consequence of the war has been the subversion of the Japanese constitution. It was adopted when Japan was still under U.S. occupation following the Second World War. Article IX renounced war as a “sovereign right of the nation” and pledged that Japan would never maintain “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential.” The intention was to reassure other countries—not least neighboring Korea and China—that Japan had turned its back on the militarism which had led its army into occupying the former and waging a long and bitter war to impose its rule on the latter. In the entire course of the Sino-Japanese war, as many as 30 million Chinese may have died, thus making China’s losses even greater than those of the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945.

The “pacifist constitution” was diluted, in effect, following the restoration of Japan’s sovereignty in 1952. A Defense Agency was established, but its armed personnel were still meant to serve only in the direct defense of Japan. Although relations with China and South Korea were sometimes prickly, those countries were reassured to a large extent that Japan did not pose a military threat to them. For its part, Japan benefitted by keeping its military spending to 1 percent of its GNP, relying chiefly on the U.S. for its defense. Such was the growth of the Japanese economy over the next 50 years that that 1 percent could pay for a highly efficient and well-armed force.

The low-level war in Iraq that continued after President George W. Bush announced the end of major hostilities May 1 impelled Washington to seek to share the burden of occupation. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi saw advantages in pushing for Japanese troops to be sent to Iraq: the move would certainly be welcomed in Washington, but it also would open the way to further overseas deployments in the future. After heated debate—not to mention fisticuffs—a bill to allow the sending of Japanese troops for non-combat duties in Iraq was passed through parliament. Defense Agency officials already had said that they were considering running Arabic-language statements on television and radio stations available in Iraq to try to win Iraqi sympathy for the deployment of Japanese troops. The government is worried that, if there are Japanese casualties in Iraq, it will rebound very badly for it.

Korean and Chinese fears of Japanese militarism may seem to be exaggerated and unwarranted, but they are nonetheless real. The Bush administration’s determination to go to war in Iraq may thus have indirectly contributed to a heightening of tensions in East Asia.

 

Tempting Fate?
 

Over in Singapore, we get the television show “Smallville,” about Superman’s teen-age years, later than Americans, of course. I was a little surprised recently to find myself viewing an episode that came close to home. In “Visage,” Lana Lang’s ex-boyfriend, who left Smallville to join the army, is seen on patrol in a foreign land. His unit comes under fire and he is cut down by an explosion. According to the subtitles, he is in Aceh, in Indonesia.

OK: I shouldn’t take this too seriously, but why, even in “Smallville,” send U.S. soldiers to fight in Aceh?

 

A question of death
Compiled by Vikki Leone, The Age Education Unit
The Age, Monday August 18, 2003

 
Convicted Bali bomber Amrozi has been sentenced to death, reigniting the capital punishment debate.

What is capital punishment?
Capital punishment, or the death penalty as it is also known, refers to executions sanctioned by the state. The most common forms of capital punishment include electrocution, gas, firing squads, lethal injections and hanging.
According to Amnesty International, in 2002 at least 1526 people were executed. Of all known executions, 81 per cent occur in China, Iran and the US.

The last person to be executed in Australia was Ronald Ryan, hanged in Victoria in 1967 for the murder of a prison warden.

Despite the abolition of the death penalty in Australia, horrific crimes often prompt renewed debate about the appropriateness of the death sentence as a penalty.

 

What do Australians think?
In early August, Amrozi was sentenced to death by firing squad for his role in the Bali bombings in which 202 people died, including 88 Australians. His sentence has generated widespread debate. A survey conducted by market researchers Quantum Australia SCAN after the Bali bombing showed an increase in the number of people in Australia who supported the death penalty; 51 per cent of respondents were in favour of the death penalty, 31 per cent against, and 18 per cent were unsure.
This compares to an average figure of 44 per cent of people in favour of the death penalty over the previous five years.

Social analyst David Chalke was not surprised by the results. He says: “You find whenever you get a horrific murder you get a responsive jump.” He warns that surveys taken at controversial times may be unrepresentative of long-term views.

Amrozi will appeal against his sentence.

 

Is the death penalty an appropriate punishment?
Few dispute that criminals, such as Amrozi, whose horrific acts of violence have caused such suffering, should be dealt with severely. But whether the death penalty is a fitting punishment is highly controversial.
The Labor and Liberal parties are both officially opposed to the death penalty but many have applauded the Indonesian court’s decision. Prime Minister John Howard has shown his support for Amrozi’s death sentence. For some of the family and friends of Bali victims, there was satisfaction, even delight, at the judgement. Some were comforted by the death sentence and thought it a suitable penalty. Supporters of the death penalty argue “an eye for an eye” – Amrozi got what he deserved.

Critics of the death penalty say data suggests capital punishment is no more a deterrent to the offence of murder than imprisonment. They argue that countries that have abolished capital punishment have not experienced significant increases in the murder rate. In Amrozi’s case, some fear his execution might act as an incentive rather than a warning to other potential terrorists. Killing Amrozi also means that police lose the opportunity for further co-operation in their investigations.

Opponents of capital punishment argue that it is hypocritical to execute someone for murder. They question whether execution of a murderer will bring closure to those families who have suffered the death of a loved one.

Opponents question how many innocent people have been killed by the state – there is always the possibility of a miscarriage of justice. There are numerous historical examples of this. South Australian Edward Splatt served more than six years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

 

Recent headlines
“Killing Amrozi won’t bring peace” The Sunday Age, August 10, 2003.
“PM sparks death debate” The Sunday Age, August 10, 2003.
“PM stands by support for Amrozi execution” The Age, August 9, 2003.
“Some toast with champagne, others don’t want to know” The Age, August 8, 2003.
What The Age says
“The Age believes the death penalty, even in response to such outrages, achieves nothing. It might temporarily satisfy a desire for revenge, but it will not bring back the Bali dead or honour their memory.”
Editorial opinion, The Age August 7, 2003.

 

What people say
“Statistics prove without exception that no vicious killer has gone on to do it again after being executed. Many have, though, where there is no capital punishment.”
Leon Flinkler, The Age, August 11, 2003.

“I have no sympathy for his acts of violence and yet the death sentence reflects, philosophically, the same lack of human respect that the bombing is about.”

Psychologist Annie Cantwell-Bartl, The Age, August 10, 2003.

Were Amrozi to be tried in Australia, we would not execute him. Since we are not prepared to have his blood on our own hands, it is cowardice and hypocrisy to praise the decision to be enacted by someone else. Of course he should be brought to justice, but killing in recompense for his killing just makes us barbaric.”

Jen Harrison, The Age, August 9, 2003.

The death penalty is a crime against humanity just as much as terrorism is. Killing each other will never be the answer.”

Esther Mitchell, The Age, August 9, 2003.

“I know lots of Australians who believe that a death penalty is appropriate and they are not barbaric, they are not insensitive, they’re not vindictive, they’re not vengeful, they’re people who believe that if you take another’s life deliberately then justice requires that your life be taken.”

Prime Minister John Howard, The Age, August 9, 2003.

Killing them (the accused) is an act of despair that says the only thing we can do with you, since you did this, is to imitate you. It shows that we as a society have sunk to their level.”

Sister Helen Prejean, whose book Dead Man Walking was made into a film. The Age August 8, 2003.

It was most important to us. That Amrozi has killed over 200 people, including two of my daughters, Renae and Simone – my only daughters – and he has got his just reward: death.”

Danny Hanley, The Age, August 8, 2003.

 

Your view
Can violence bring about justice? Is it right to punish violence with more violence? Should Australia reintroduce the death penalty? Do you support the execution of Amrozi? Students are encouraged to share their views on this issue. Submit your view online

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