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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

Fireball after bomb blast The bombs struck an area frequented by tourists

Bomber Ali Imron is considered a Muslim hero

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 )


Cleric jailed over Bali bombs

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

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."


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 Ė 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."


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.


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


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.

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

In september 2004 Ali Imron, the Bali bomber sentenced to life dubbed"called the laughing murderer " by the media was taken out to cafť 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 cafť 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.


Bali bombing suspect Amrozi (right) poses for reporters with police

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.


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..." 2003/08/06/1060145728413.html


"... 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..."



Original article in Dutch translated above

Dader bomaanslag Bali mag avondje winkelen

JAKARTA - Eťn 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 ťťn 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 chemicaliŽn 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 Hardrockcafť 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 cafť 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 AustraliŽ met ontzetting ontvangen. De meeste slachtoffers van de bomaanslag op Bali waren AustraliŽrs. 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 wťl op een spoedige vrijlating van zijn cliŽnt. Hij liet donderdag weten dat hij president Megawati Soekarnoputri om gratie heeft gevraagd.

Suyanto vindt dat zijn cliŽnt 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 IndonesiŽ. Suyanto: 'Ali Imron heeft IndonesiŽ 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 IndonesiŽ 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


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

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.


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.

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.

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at