The confessions of a Bali bomber
Meet Idris: Bali bomber, a senior member of the terrorist group that planned and then carried out the attack 10 years ago that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Ask him for an explanation of what he did and Idris comes up with the most lame of all possible answers: he was just following orders.
In his first interview with Australian media, the freed bomber says he would willingly wage jihad on Indonesian soil again, but only if he thought he was fighting in a "legitimate war zone" - including an armed inter-religious conflict on Indonesian soil.
He said, "If some time in the future I form the intention to do jihad, it is obvious that I'll go to war. If there is such a zone in Indonesia, of course I will go there."
It's clear he's mostly concerned about himself. What torments him is the question of whether or not he will go to heaven.
He said, "I have never felt glad, happy or gay about this affair. In my heart I keep hoping that what I did was right and that I will be rewarded. However, I'm always worried that it was wrong and that Allah will punish me."
Idris was 12 kilometers away on a motorcycle with fellow terrorist Ali Imron when he felt, as much as heard, the bomb go off. He recalled, "It's as if it came from underground."
As the subterranean rumble reached him, he did not spare a thought for any of the victims. His thoughts were only for himself. He said, "The feeling of fear dominated. [Ali Imron and I] went to a restaurant. There was rice in front of us. We couldn't finish it, not even a quarter of it. Even water tasted bitter … No one talked. We heard the sirens, ambulance, we felt really afraid."
Idris can only speak now because he is a free man. He escaped conviction for the Bali bombing on a technical legal point when Indonesia's constitutional court ruled he could not be convicted under laws passed after the bombing took place.
He was sentenced to 10 years in jail for a different bombing - the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2003 - which killed 12 people. But after remissions and parole he served just five years. He was released in 2009.
Now he lives with his family and looks after his sick mother, but complains he cannot find work because his past means no one will give him a job.
Idris attended Ngruki, Abu Bakar Bashir's school of jihad in Solo, but his learning did not lead to action until 2002. Then two of Indonesia's most important jihadis, Amrozi and Mukhlas, the top leader of Jemaah Islamiah in Asia, called him to a small house in Solo.
It was a meeting to plan a bomb attack on "America and its allies" in Bali - a place they saw as a center of infidel hedonism.
Idris became the manager of the project. He said, "My role … was to provide logistics and to prepare various things, such as providing a house, car, surveying the target, and also preparing food. Basically anything my friends might need."
Idris says Mukhlas, who was executed in 2008, was the one who gave the orders. To Idris, everything he did can be explained by that fact.
He said, "I couldn't think about if [the attack] was justified or not justified. If the senior commander ordered us to do it, we had to."
What about conscience? Humanity? "I didn't think, I simply followed what Mukhlas said."
Idris does not feel bad about being released from jail. He said, "It is the state who created the law … Whether it was fair or not I cannot say."
When I showed Idris pictures taken in 2002 of maimed and burnt bodies, of the destroyed buildings and the remains of the van that contained the bomb. I asked him how he feels and he paused for thought.
He said, "When I saw the pieces of bodies, I just thought something like, 'Wow,' or 'Oh my God', because I know there isn't any Islamic law about this,'' he says. ''It's like: 'Look how much damage I did'."
Posted by: ryuge