06/13/2007 12:31
Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist captured
by Mathias Hariyadi
Head of Jemaah Islamiyah’s military wing, Abu Dujana played key role in several attacks including Bali and the Marriot Hotel. Police today confirmed his identity five days after his capture.
Police did not immediately confirm that man known as Mahfud was in fact Abu Dujana because he operated under so many different aliases that it took several days to determine his identity, which was finally confirmed by fingerprinting and DNA tests.

The 39-year-old was wanted for his involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings, the 2004 attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta as well as a car bombing at the city’s Marriot hotel a year earlier.

After interrogating all the suspects it was clear that Abu Dujana was the military chief of Jemaah Islamiyah, said national police spokesman Sisno Adiwinoto during a press conference.

Dujana was already the organisation’s top military operative four years ago.

With the death last year of Malaysian-born Azahari bin Husin, killed in a raid in East Java, he had become Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist.

However not much is known about his past. It is alleged that he was trained in 1986 in Pakistan along with other mujahideen and that he fought in the southern Philippines in the ranks of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Australian television put him at the top of the list of the five most dangerous terrorists in South-East Asia. The others are Dulmatin, Noordin Moh Top, Djulkarnaen and Aris Munandar.



 06/16/2006 14:21
Bali bombs, God’s will, says Ba’asyir
Muslim cleric involved in Bali bombing utters comments that worry US and Australia soon after being release from jail. Indonesian police will not monitor his activities arguing that to do so would violate his human rights, whilst other people evoke unfair trials of Christians.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Militant Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, freed two days ago for good behaviour after 26 months in jail for his complicity in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, yesterday described the attack as God’s will, and said those who carried out terrorist attacks across Indonesia were “holy warriors”.

The cleric criticised US President George W. Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard for waging war against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, and called on them to “convert to Islam”.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard yesterday sent a letter to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressing his country’s “distress” over Mr Ba’asyir’s release, urging the Indonesian authorities to monitor the cleric’s activities.

The Indonesians disagree. Indonesian police chief Sutanto said that placing Ba’asyir under constant monitoring would violate his human rights, this despite the fact that on Tuesday, when Ba’asyir was released, police had announced they would monitor every “incendiary” speech the firebrand preacher might make.

Mr Howard, who is scheduled to meet Susilo at the end of the month, warned that the release of the alleged leader of the al-Qaeda–linked South-East Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah could affect relations between the two countries.

For his part, the Indonesian President reiterated his country’s commitment to the fight against terrorism. “Our national efforts to combat terrorism are not measured by the release of Ba’asyir,” he said.  

Jemaah Islamiah is held responsible for the major terrorist attacks in Indonesia, including the bombings of the Marriot Hotel and Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2003 and 2004, and a triple suicide bombing in Bali last year that left 20 people dead. In the 2002 Bali bombings 202 people died; 88 of them were Australians.

The Muslim cleric has always claimed his innocence in the affair. Yesterday he described the suicide bombers, who kill in the name of Islam, “holy warriors”, but said they were wrong to use bombs in a country at peace. “Why use bombs in a non-conflict zone, preaching is enough.”

Asked about families suffering from the Bali blasts, Mr Ba’asyir said the attacks “were God’s will” and survivors should “convert to Islam” to ease their pain. However, not all share his views. Many in Indonesia have expressed disapproval upon his release.

Human rights activists have stressed that “the partner to an act that killed hundreds of innocent people is freed after two years, whilst three Christian teachers unjustly charged with ‘proselytising’ are serving a three-year sentence, and three Catholics are set to be executed after an unfair trial conducted under the influence of Islamic fundamentalists


12/22/2006 14:07
Supreme Court overturns Ba’asyir’s conviction
The Muslim clergyman was charged with involvement in terrorist attacks in 2002 and 2004. Indonesian police maintains he is guilty based on their evidence. Defence attorneys plan legal action to fully rehabilitate his reputation.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia’s Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir of involvement in the terrorist attacks in Bali (2002) and against the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta (2004). However, the Indonesian Police (Polri) has strongly reacted against the decision; its spokesman, Inspector General Sisno Adiwinoto, said that there was “abundant evidence he was involved in those attacks. We have proof that shows his guilt.”

“The decision was made after hearing at least 30 witnesses who said that Ba’asyir was not involved in those deadly attacks”, said German Hoediarto, who chaired the supreme court hearings. The written ruling will be issued in the near future.

For Adiwinoto, the court “was unwise to clear [Ba’asyir] . . . but its decision was likely due to legal evidence that made our efforts in vain”. And yet “the Polri,” he added, “still considers him guilty. Its conviction is based on solid evidence that justified holding him for 2.5 years in jail.”

“It was foretold as God’s own will (to clear him),” Baasyir said upon hearing the Court’s decision, this according to Mahendradatta, one of the Muslim clergyman’s lawyers, who added that he would now seek full rehabilitation.

Among other things, it will be necessary to explain why Ba’asyir met convicted terrorists Amrozi and Mubarok before the Bali bombings. “The police are convinced that the meeting was planned to give Amrozi help in the attack,” Mahendradatta said, “when in fact it was casual”.

A bomb in a night club in Bali killed 202 people in 2002, mostly foreign tourists. The attack was the first major terrorist attack in Indonesia but was soon followed by others: against the Australian Embassy in 2003, the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta in 2004, and triple suicide attack in 2005 against targets frequented by Westerners, especially tourists.

Ba’asyir is an important figure in the Indonesian Mujahiddin Council, a radical Islamic group that wants to impose Sharia Law in the country.

The clergyman steadfastly denied any involvement in the attacks but did acknowledge that in the 80s and 90s he knew and met many Muslim militants who attended al-Qaeda “training camps” in Afghanistan.

Since his release in June, Ba’asyir has been involved in a intense anti-US and anti-Jewish campaign and has been promoting the idea of turning secular Indonesia into an Islamic state.


09/16/2004 14:58
Suspects in Australian Embassy blast named
by Mathias Hariyadi
Threats made against Catholic school. Stop violence! It is against Islam, says convicted terrorist Ali Imron.

05/09/2006 13:42
Five suspected terrorists arrested with 4,500 detonators
by Benteng Reges
Police believe the men are members of Jemaah Islamiyah and connected to Noordin Top, Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist. Two of the men were involved in the murder of a Protestant female pastor in Palu in 2004.

11/10/2008 13:33
Bali bombers executed. Harsh reactions from Islamic militants
by Mathias Hariyadi
In the early hours of Sunday, the attackers were killed by firing squad who in 2002 killed 202 people in Bali. Protests and clashes with the police at the funerals. Alert all over Indonesia for the risk of attacks and new demonstrations. But analysts say that the danger of terrorist attacks is not high. Meanwhile, Indonesian ulemas say: “The three are not martyrs.”


Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The men who carried out the bomb attack against Australia’s Embassy in Jakarta last week are now known to authorities. They are Hasan Nur Sodiq and Jabir, otherwise known as Nanang.

Police has not yet determined whether the two died in the blast or are still alive. DNA tests on the bodies found at the site are still under way.

Jemaah Islamiah –al-Qaeda‘s presumed South-East Asian operational offshoot– claimed responsibility for the attack.

The names of the two suspects came up during investigations in East Java following interrogations of local Muslim leaders. Hassan is originally from Blitar (East Java), but was recognised by a neighbour in the region’s capital of Surabaya after his and his accomplice’s photo were broadcast on television. Police arrested two people last night for allegedly renting a house to the terrorists.

In the meantime, the whole country remains in a state of alert against other possible terror attacks. A Surabaya Catholic school run by the Sisters of Saint Ursula received bomb threats by phone. Days earlier, the city’s US Consulate General and the French Cultural Centre received similar threats. So did the Duta Tower business centre in Jakarta.

President Megawati urged her fellow Indonesians to be “extremely vigilant” against possible acts of violence that might disrupt the September 20 presidential run-off election. “I have instructed all security forces to remain in a state of readiness across the country,” she said. Police chief Dai Bachtiar announced that 200,000 officers have been deployed to enforce public order.

Investigators are now focusing on possible attacks by Jemaah in the city of Surakarta (Central Java). According to rumours three terrorists are said to be preparing a terror attack there. Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammad Topper, the two Malaysians suspected of masterminding the attacks against the Australian Embassy and the Mariott Hotel (in October 2003), are also thought to be in the Surakarta area. Authorities are offering a US$ 100,000 reward to anyone giving information leading to the arrest of the two wanted Malaysians.

Ali Imron, one of the authors of the October 2002 Bali attack that killed 202 people, appealed to his erstwhile Jemaah comrades to put an end to terrorism in Indonesia. “Please stop any hostile activities and violence toward others. It is no use,” said a remorseful Imron.

The 34-year-old teacher was sentenced to life imprisonment in September 2003. In the course of his trial he confessed to making the Bali bombs. Interrogated by police he also said that terror attacks “are a betrayal of Islamic precepts” and asked the victims’ families for their forgiveness.


04/21/2006 13:37
Alleged Singaporean terrorist arrested in Indonesia
by Moerkekaq Senggotro
Police is investigating his links with Noordin Moh Top, a Malaysian fugitive thought to be a top Jemaah Islamiah operative.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesian police confirmed yesterday that it is holding a Singaporean national suspected of ties with wanted Malaysian terrorist Noordin Moh Top. The police anti-terror squad captured Abdul Rosyid, aka Hamdan, on April 18 on Sumbawa, a largely Muslim island in West Nusa Tenggara province.

Deputy police spokesman in Jakarta Anton Bachrul Alam said that “police detectives in the province are still interrogating the man to shed light on his alleged involvement in terrorist activities in the area. They are still investigating whether Hamdan is tied to Noordin Moh Top or not”. He was arrested for breaking Indonesia’s immigration law.

After meeting top public security and intelligence officials, police chief General Sutanto said that his office was in contact with Interpol to determine the detainee’s status.

“We’ll send him back to his country of origin only if we are certain that he is not involved in any terrorist activities,” he explained.

In recent days, Indonesian police has raised the level of alert following reports that Noordin M Top had recruited suicide bombers for possible attacks in Poso, in Central Sulawesi. The Malaysian terrorist is still on the run and thought to be hiding in Java.

Noordin is considered one of Jemaah Islamiah‘s main leaders and his flight from justice has for some time been a major source of anxiety for Indonesian Christians. Last year after the death of the notorious terrorist Azahari, also linked to the Jemaah Islamiah, the authorities uncovered a broad plan to target Catholic churches at Christmas in Malang (East Java).

Jemaah Islamiah is a terrorist network that operates in South-East Asia and is thought to be closely linked to al-Qaeda.


Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The police is getting closer to Indonesia’s most wanted man, Malaysian-born Noordin Moh Top, who is considered to be a top operative of the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist network. In looking for Noordin Top, police arrested some terrorist suspects confiscating weapons and 4,500 detonators. Yesterday anti- terrorist police unit Densus 88 captured five suspected terrorists—Aprianto, Arman, Asrudin, Nano and Abdul Muis—in Toli-Toli (Central Sulawesi) where they were hiding in a rented house. In addition to ammunition, videos, books about Jihad and terrorist actions, police found many detonators.

Local residents, who said they were “shocked” by the news, stated that the five men “were normal people” adding that no one “knew what type of work they did”.

Asrudin’s wife, Salma, complained that her husband was not involved in any terrorist activities. She did never the less say that she lived with him first in Poso, then in Palu.

Yesterday afternoon, police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam said that two of the five suspects were identified as having participated in the murder of a Protestant female pastor, Susianti Tinulele, in Palu in July 2004.

Police believe that the five are members of al-Qaeda linked Jemaah Islamiyah‘s third mantiqi or group, which is in charge of training militants and operates in Sulawesi, Kalimantan and the southern Philippines.

Police in Toli-Toli did not provide many details about the arrested men, except to say that “central police in Jakarta is in charge of the investigation” and that all five of them would be flown to the capital.

For local analysts, police reticence to say more is a sign that they might be getting closer to Top who has been on the run for quite some time.

Noordin Moh Top is wanted for his alleged involvement in the 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta, the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing, and last year’s bombing in Bali.

Some experts caution though that even if the Malaysian terrorist is captured it will be very hard to dismantle the vast network of followers he has set up since 2004 in South-East Asia.


Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The three attackers of Bali were executed 15 minutes after midnight on Sunday, and protest demonstrations began immediately on the part of Indonesian Islamic groups.

For security reasons, the Indonesian authorities had decided to conduct the execution inside the prison of Nusakambangan, where the three were detained, and not in the other places that the local newspapers had speculated about in recent weeks.

The bodies of Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Mukhlas were given to their families on Sunday, and during the funeral rites (in the photo, a moment in the funeral for Samudra) there were various gestures of vehement protest against the government and the execution of the three, whom many call martyrs of Islam.

In view of the execution, various groups of Islamic militants had announced violence and protests. Within twenty-four hours of the execution, supporters of the three attackers staged demonstrations in the villages of Serang, Lamongan, and Tenggulun, where the families of the terrorists lived. The Indonesian police had to intervene to maintain order.

The lawyers of the three Bali attackers stated that on the occasion of the funerals, no demonstrations were planned, and instead announced that these would take place during the week. The Muslim Defense Team has also revealed that it wants to take legal action against the prosecutor, under the accusation of serious violations of human rights. These facts, together with statements and threats from various representatives of the Islamic world, are making the climate on the island more tense. Reiterated threats of attack have also been made to the Australian and United States embassies in Jakarta. The police are in a state of alert, and are protecting sensitive targets all over the island, like hotels and tourist spots. On Sunday, some arrests were carried out and special police teams were out in force patrolling the areas around the places where the three executed men lived.

Security analysts say that the country does not run the risk of serious attacks, because the main terrorist group working in Indonesia, and connected to Al Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah, is in a condition of serious weakness. Nonetheless, there have been serious controversies advanced by certain sources in the government because of the political exploitation of the execution. Representatives of the executive branch have criticized television stations and press outlets of giving too much publicity to the event, and raising the tension. The constant delays in the execution had exposed the government to numerous criticisms. The first death sentences were handed down five years ago; Amrozi was condemned on August 7, Samudra on September 10, and Mukhlas on November 2, 2003.

Today, in the attempt to quell the controversy and avoid an escalation of the violence, the Indonesian council of ulemas has also intervened. President Umar Shihab has stated that the three Bali attackers “did not die as svuhada [martyrs]. Those who kill other people cannot die as martyrs, unless it is in war for the sake of religion. But we are not at war, so we cannot kill.”


10/27/2008 15:14
Bali attackers: for Islam, are they heroes or criminals?
by Mathias Hariyadi
Conflicting opinions among Indonesian Muslims over the methods used by Amrozi and his companions to promote “holy war.” Some consider them “pioneers in the struggle,” while others call their act “disproportionate.” Their execution has been set for early November; growing alarm over security in the country.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Contrasting reactions among Indonesian Muslims to the news of the execution, set for early November, of the three people responsible for the massacre in Bali in 2002, in which more than 200 people died. If some of the fundamentalist Koranic schools celebrate the attackers as “heroes” and pioneers of the “holy war,” others define the attack as “a disproportionate response” to the oppression of the Islamic world, and stigmatize the killing of innocent people.

Last October 24, General Bambang Hendarso Danuri, Indonesia’s chief of police, confirmed that the elite police corps, which goes by the name of Brimob, is making final preparations to proceed with the execution of Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Ali Gufron, Amrozi’s older brother, also known as Mukhias. “They will face the firing squad in early November,” says General Danuri, without giving an exact date. He also says that the three men have asked personally to have their bodies buried in their home town. For Amrozi and Mukhlas, that is in Lamongan in the province of East Java, and for Imam Samudra, in Serang, in the province of Banten.

General Danuri confirms that there has been a general reinforcement in security measures in the country; new “sensitive targets” are under observation, added to the places where there are American citizens or institutions, the possible targets of terrorist attacks. On October 21, the security forces stopped an attack on a large fuel depot north of the capital.

Amrozi’s relatives say they want to visit him “for the last time” at the maximum-security prison of Nusakambangan, in the district of Cilacap; Lulu Jamaluddin, Imam Samudra’s younger brother, reiterates his absolute innocence: “I strongly believe that the bombing attack was not done by them,” he says.

A growing number of Indonesian Muslims are speaking out in support of Amrozi and his companions. The students of the Islamic school Darusy Syahadah are expressing their solidarity, calling them “holy warriors.” “They are like us, they wanted to do good deeds,” says one 18-year-old student, Nawawi. Experts on terrorism explained that the Koranic school of Darusy Syahadah has long been a center for recruiting and indoctrination for Jemaah Islamiah, the Indonesian fundamentalist group connected to al Qaeda. Its graduates include Salik Firdaus, the suicide attacker who blew himself up in Bali in 2005, killing 20 people.

Experts on international terrorism emphasize, however, that the situation in the country is much more “complex and intricate,” and that support for the struggle advocated by Jemaah Islamiah has collapsed after the repeated attacks that have caused numerous deaths among civilians. In fact, many schools, although they support “holy war,” have come under the influence of the government policy aimed at “uprooting” terrorism, which has partly stemmed the bloodshed. The principal of the Darusy Syahadah Islamic school, Mustaquim, confirms that the motivations behind the suicide attacks are “noble,” but the “method” is wrong.

The Koranic school al-Mukmin, in Ngriki, founded by the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah, Abu Bakar Bashir, is paying homage to the terrorists, but the opinions there are at odds. According to fundamentalist leader Bashir, the 2002 attack in Bali was the result of a “micro-nuclear” device planted by the CIA, because the bomb set off by Amrozi and his companions only “shattered glass and didn’t wound people, or at most wounded them a little.” But the headmaster of the school, Wahyudin, expresses a different opinion, calling the indiscriminate bombing attacks at bars and nightclubs on the island of Bali a disproportionate response to the global oppression of Muslims.


07/05/2006 13:55
Bali 2002 terrorists no longer wish to die: they want to reopen their case
Two out of the three men condemned to death for the island bombing want a legal review of their case while the authorities sort out the final details for their execution, expected for three years. So far, they were ready to die because they respected “the law of God, not of man”.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Two out of three terrorists sentenced to death for the Bali bombings in 2002 have decided to reopen their case. Their decision comes as the Indonesian authorities have announced their imminent execution. The three men had formerly refused to seek salvation through legal channels, saying they would only submit to divine, not human, law.

In 2003, the district Court of Denpasar handed down the death penalty to Amrozi and Imam Samudra. They were involved in the attacks on the famous island that cost 202 people – mostly foreign tourists – their lives.  Muhklas was sentenced together with them for the same crime. The three men – detained in the prison of Nusakambangan, central Java – were judged under anti-terrorism laws passed in the country after the 2002 bombings. It has been decided that the new laws do not apply retrospectively and the two men’s lawyers say they will use this information to call for a judicial review.

Only two days ago, the attorney general, Abdul Rahman Saleh, issued a statement announcing that the execution of the three Muslims would take place on an unspecified date and on the island of Nusakambangan instead of Bali – “too crowded and populated” – as requested by the supporters of Amrozi, Samudra and Muhklas. He added: “The execution will be postponed if the three convicts decide to ask for a review of their case or for a pardon.”

The three convicts have always refused to appeal to the president for a pardon. Previously, one of their lawyers said that for his clients, this would have meant “surrendering to human law”. Amrozi and the others have repeated several times over that they want to be judged only God’s law.

According to the Muslim Lawyers Team (TPN) that is defending the three men, the decision of the government to hurry the execution was taken to “please foreign countries after the release of Abu Bakar Baasyir”, a religious leader who was an “accomplice” in the same crimes back in 2002. Achmad Michdan, a TPM lawyer, added: “We are preparing the necessary papers to present a request and we will do everything possible so that the trial for a judical review will take place in a neutral area outside Bali.” The lawyer suggested Jakarta or Cilacap.


10/21/2008 13:09
Last appeal rejected for three condemned in Bali bombing
by Mathias Hariyadi
The Indonesian constitutional court has upheld their execution by firing squad. A request from lawyers of one of the three, Amrozi bin H. Nurhasyim, has been rejected. The Tim Pengacara Muslim was asking for execution by decapitation, respectful of Islamic law and without excessive suffering.


10/14/2008 13:21
“Not repentant and never will,” say three Bali bombers whose execution is near
by Mathias Hariyadi
The three undergo medical check-up today. On the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attack controversy is brewing over the execution delay. The three bombers continue to say they are “God’s instrument.” Public opinion wonders why all the delay compared to non Muslim convicts who have been quickly executed.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – On the sixth anniversary of the Bali bombing that killed 202 people on 12 October 2002, the relatives of the victims (mostly foreigners) and Indonesian public opinion are wondering when the three men sentenced for the crime will be executed. They are Amrozi (see photo after the death sentence was pronounced), Imam Samudra and Ali Ghufron. According to unconfirmed reports the three men underwent a medical check-up, a preliminary stage before they go before a firing squad.

Buyung Nasution SH, a well-known lawyer and legal adviser to the president, said that the Attorney General’s Office has no legal grounds to further delay the execution after the last legal manoeuvre by the three convicts was rejected. As Muslims they asked to be beheaded as recommended by Islamic law rather than by a firing squad.

“Foreign diplomats often ask me why Indonesia is so slow in carrying out the sentence,” Buyung said. “Why non Muslim convicts (like Christians Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu) were quickly executed even when they were still filing appeals?”

By contrast, the Bali three’s last recourse was rejected in September 2007 and since then the only step remaining is execution.

For Bantarto Bandoro, a political expert at the University of Indonesia, the government might be delaying the execution to curry favour with voters ahead of the 2009 elections. Extremist political circles are in fact hoping that the passage of time might play in favour of the convicted terrorists with public opinion.

However, last week many Indonesians were incensed by arrogant statements made by Imam Samudra and Ali Gufron who said they were “not repentant and never will. . . . The Bali attack was necessary. Their destiny [to be killed because of the attack] has been decided from above (God).”

Parallel to this Amrozi said that his supporters and friends will immediately avenge his execution with an attack in Indonesia.

Police Chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri is taking such threats seriously. He said that security forces will go on maximum alert as soon as the execution preparations get underway.

Indonesia’s Attorney General Hendarman Supandji said he delayed the execution until after the holy month of Ramadan which ended on 30 September. He explained that the execution will be carried out before the end of the year but did not specify the date.

Press sources have reported that Amrozi is set to meet his family, which might indicate that the execution is near.


10/12/2007 12:27
Bali remembers the 2002 bombing victims
On the fifth anniversary of the bomb blasts on Kuta beach, survivors and victims’ families meet on the famous Indonesian island to pray and remember the bloodshed. The three terrorists found guilty in the crime should learn soon the date of their execution.

07/24/2008 12:37
Final preparations for the execution of Bali bombers
by Mathias Hariyadi
Two attorneys from the Bali Attorney’s Office visit the location where terrorists are waiting their execution, which should take place next month before the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

 Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Last night two attorneys from the Bali Attorney’s Office arrived on Nusakambangan Island where three men sentenced for the 2002 Bali bombing that killed more than 200 people are being held. Press sources in Cilacap (central Java) said the two were sent to prepare the place for the execution of the three men.
11/03/2008 13:07
Jakarta, maximum alert ahead of imminent execution of Bali terrorists
by Mathias Hariyadi
The three terrorists sentenced for the 2002 bomb attacks file a new appeal with the Supreme Court, but the Attorney-General’s Office dismisses any talk of further delays. Threats and fears of retaliation are rising.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The three Islamic terrorists convicted in the 2002 Bali bombings filed a new appeal today with the Supreme Court, but the authorities announced that there will be no further delay in their imminent execution. Meanwhile security measures are being stepped up for fear of retaliatory attacks.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Survivors and families of those who were killed in the 2002 Bali bombing have gathered on the famous Indonesian island for the fifth anniversary of blasts that left 202 people dead. Ceremonies to commemorate the victims are being held in Bali’s capital, Denpasar, and in Australia

The explosions took place on October 12, 2002, at the Sari Club and the Paddy’s Pub in Kuta killing mostly tourists, including 888 Australians.

The Jemaah Islamiah, a terrorist network linked to al-Qaeda and active in South-East Asia, claimed responsibility in the attack.

The group is also responsible for a second attack on the island in 2005 when three bombs went off in well-known beach resorts, killing 20 people.

In Bali the commemoration began yesterday when thousands of people gathered in front of local government offices for music and prayers.

At dusk the ceremony moved to Kuta beach where people witnessed the release into the sea of 202 sea turtles in memory of the victims.

More than 30 people were arrested for the crime.

Abdul Aziz aka Imam Samudra, Amrozi bin Haji Nurhasyim, and Ali Gufron aka Mukhlas, were all sentenced to death in 2003 for playing major roles in planning and coordinating the bombings.

They were supposed to be executed on August 22, 2006, but their last minute appeal forced a suspension of the procedure.

More than a year later no date has yet been set for the death sentences to be carried out, but the Supreme Court has rejected their final appeal.

In a recent statement read by their lawyers, the three men said that their death will be a “light for the faithful and a hellish fire for the infidels.”


Ida Bagus Wiswantanu explained that he and a colleague, Wayan Suwela, checked out technical issues related to the execution. But he did not reveal the latter’s location because “it is a secret under the law,” he said.

Last week-end Indonesian Attorney General Hendarman Supanji issued a statement confirming the death sentence by firing for Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Ali Gufron, noting that it would take place before the start of the holy month of Ramadan, this coming September.

The execution is expected to take place in August even though the precise date still has yet to be confirmed.

On 12 October 2002 two bombs exploded in Bali, causing large-scale loss of life, especially among tourists, 88 from Australia.

Jemaah Islamiah, a terror organisation linked to al-Qaeda and active in South-East Asia, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The same organisation was responsible for a second attack on the island in 2005 when three bombs exploded in famous beach resorts, killing 20 people.


The request on behalf of Amrozi, Ali Ghufron and Imam Samudra (pictured) rested on their claim that they hadn’t been properly informed of the rejection of their previous appeal. In response, a spokesman for the Attorney-General’s Office said the bombers had exhausted all legal options and there was no change to the execution plans.

The three men were sentenced to death for the bombings in Bali’s tourist strip of Kuta Beach that killed 202 people, 88 of them Australians.

Although the date for the execution is not known, police have increased security around Cilacap harbour which connects southern Java to the high-security prison on Nusakambangan Island where the bombers are being held.

Nusakambangan Prison chief Bambang Winahyo said the three men appear to be calm and ready to die, in line with their repeated claims that they want to be “martyrs” for the cause of a South-East Asian caliphate.

As of today relatives and lawyers of the three are barred from visiting them in a further sign that the execution is imminent.

The authorities are taking no chances with the security of high-risk targets like the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport after threats of retaliatory attacks were made in the past few days.

Shopping centres, ports, embassies, Christian churches are also under tight control.

In Poso (Central Sulawesi), scene of intense Christian-Muslim sectarian clashes a few years ago, police found bomb-making material.

The state-owned Pertamina Oil Company has also imposed maximum security measures after a plot to blow up its fuel depot in Plumpang in North Jakarta was foiled.

Meanwhile protest is growing in the country. Jamaah Anshorut Tauhid –a new Islamic organisation set up by the radical militant Abu Bakar Baasyir—publicly condemned the execution.

During the trial the three bombers also issued threats, saying that Muslim groups would carry out retaliatory attacks.

In light of the situation the Australian government yesterday issued a travel advisory warning Australians not to travel to Indonesia.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah reacted saying that the Australian travel warning was unnecessary as Indonesian security officers would guarantee the safety of foreign nationals.


Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The death sentence will be carried out by firing squad, and not by decapitation. It’s the last chapter in the judicial affair of the three attackers who in October of 2002 killed 202 people in Bali. The Indonesian constitutional court, the Mahkamah Konstitusi, has definitively rejected the request of the lawyers for one of the three men convicted, Amrozi bin H. Nurhasyim (in the photo, together with his lawyers). The Tim Pengacara Muslim (TPM), which is assisting the men, had asked again for decapitation, because it is more in keeping with Islamic law, and less excruciating than death by gunshot.

Indonesian law says that execution by firing squad is to be carried out by a platoon of 12 soldiers, six of whom are to have weapons loaded with blank cartridges. The condemned can choose to stand or sit, blindfolded, with his face either covered or uncovered.

The Mahkamah Konstitusi has reiterated the legitimacy of this method of execution, rejecting the last attempt to have the sentence revised. The last appeal presented by the attackers was rejected in September of 2007, and execution has been pending since then. The attorney general is expected to announce the date of the execution by Friday, October 24.

The legal affair of Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Ali Gufron has been going on since 2003, when they were condemned to death by the court of the district of Denpasar. Objections on the basis of Islam by the three attackers and the media campaign conducted by the lawyers of the TPM have drawn out the matter until now. The news released in recent days, according to which the condemned have received medical examinations preliminary to execution, implies that this is now imminent.

 Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Jemaah Islamiyah, the al-Qaeda linked terrorist organisation operating in South-East Asia, was dealt a serious blow after Indonesian police confirmed today that it had arrested its alleged military leader, Abu Dujana. Indonesia’s most wanted man was captured last Saturday by the country’s anti-terrorist unit, Densus-88, along with seven other suspects during a operation in Central Java.

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