Hello !
Recent Appearances... Rantburg
Imam Samudra Imam Samudra Jemaah Islamiyah Southeast Asia Indonesian In Jug 20031205  
    Arrested in the 2002 Bali bombings
  Imam Samudra Jemaah Islamiah Southeast Asia 20030928  
  Imam Samudra al-Qaeda Europe 20040331  

Southeast Asia
Bashir still giving orders from jail cell
2012-10-11
The radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, founder of the group behind the 2002 Bali bombings, is believed to still be giving orders to would-be terrorists from his jail cell.

Bashir was transferred from police headquarters in Jakarta last week to Batu Penitentiary on the island of Nusa Kambangan, dubbed the Alcatraz of Indonesia because of its extremely high level of security.

The prison island, off the southern coast of Central Java, was also where Bali bombers Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Mukhlas were housed until their executions in 2008.

While police did not initially disclose the reasons behind the sudden decision to move Bashir, which came days ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombings, it has emerged authorities are concerned that he has continued to be actively involved with terrorist groups even from behind bars.
Advertisement

"The leading figure (for terrorism) is still the same," Indonesia's counter-terrorism agency chief Ansyaad Mbai has told AAP.

"Even though he's already in jail, he's still giving commands."

The 74-year-old founded Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the group responsible for the attacks in Bali, and remains the spiritual leader for Jamaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), which was designated a terror organisation by the United States earlier this year.

Mbai has also warned that the new crop of violent jihadists now active in Indonesia is being driven by the same radical ideology that led to the 2002 bombings.

"It's no longer important what their name is. What's obvious is the new group and JI are linked ideologically," he said.

"Their ideological figures remain the same."

Bashir, who spent 26 months in prison over the Bali bombings before later being acquitted, was jailed again last year for helping set up a terrorist training camp in Aceh.

He was sentenced to 15 years after being found guilty of using JAT as a front to raise funds for the Aceh camp. The terror cell found training at the remote jungle base was believed to be planning attacks on Western targets.

The counter-terrorism chief also confirmed that a group of five men shot dead in Bali in March were part of a new military wing formed by JAT.

"JAT has several wings. The military wing is called Tim Hisbah," Mbai said.

"This group is also linked with the five people shot in Bali."

Terrorism analyst Noor Huda Ismail said more effort was needed to counter the radical ideology still flourishing in Indonesia, warning that failure to address the problem would almost certainly lead to a repeat of the attacks in Bali.

He said extremist elements in Indonesia were still regrouping after a successful campaign by authorities over the past 10 years.

"We arrested 600, we killed some of them," he told AAP.

"But eventually, those people will be released."

"What do we do with them? Can we hope that they will de-radicalise voluntarily? There needs to be a systematic effort."
Link


Southeast Asia
Bali bomber begs for mercy
2012-06-01
Umar Patek is a tiny man, pixie-faced and slump-shouldered inside the white garment worn by devout Muslims. He said, "I'm a quiet person, shy, and low in education," just before his trial for terrorism and mass murder continued yesterday.

But this small man helped create the bombs that tore apart two Bali nightclubs 10 years ago and killed 202 people.

Patek has admitted mixing about 50 kilograms of chemicals to go into almost a ton of explosives used in the bombs.
Successfully mixing explosives that explode only on schedule is a rare ability, as the many reported work accidents over the years attest -- Mutual of Gaza has been paying out from reserves for ages, and Al Qaeda doesn't even offer insurance to the many MBAs who take their course.
But throughout the four months of his trial he has emphasised his unimportance. He told the court he was "a deer" among such "elephants" of the plot as the already executed Imam Samudra, Mukhlas and Amrozi.
No doubt. But their plotting would have been to no avail, absent the technical skills of little Patek.
But in his heart Patek knew what he had done. He said, "My conscience says I am guilty. I did mix [explosive] materials."

Despite this, his lawyers have maintained that he should be found not guilty of the bombings, and guilty only of forging passports.
The man is a commercial artist as well? Truly, he has more than most to be modest about.
They say he opposed the killing of innocents, voiced his opposition to the Bali plot and participated reluctantly. Thus he had "not deliberately" contributed.
It's awfully hard to accidentally mix up a bomb capable of killing several hundred people...
The death sentence is possible for these charges but prosecutors have asked for life in prison. Yesterday Patek made a plea for 10 years or less. He said, "[The explosives I mixed were] less than 50 kilograms. I am guilty for that but ... I believe the panel of judges must consider my motive ... my state of psychology. The panel of judges must consider my disagreement [with the tactics] and that it wasn't my call."
"They put something on my neck, your honour. It controlled me completely...and nobody could hear me scream."
Patek said he was originally lured into jihad in 1991 by Dulmatin (killed in a shootout with police in 2010), who took him to Malaysia as a young man to find work and study religion under radical teacher Mukhlas.

Twenty years later he has lost little of his fanaticism. He said, "My position about jihad remains the same. It is an obligation of every Muslim to carry out jihad."
Kill him. Kill him now.
However, holy war should only be waged against those "who attack Muslims". He said, "My question was, did the Balinese attack Muslims in Bali? Or did the bule [white foreigners] in Bali attack Muslims? Or were they Jews? I think the correct way is to go to Palestine and fight the Jews who slaughtered Palestinians."

Other hardcore beliefs continue. Patek said Abu Bakar Bashir, now serving a 15-year jail sentence for supporting a jihadi training camp in Aceh, was harmless. He said, "I think he only preaches. I think there's nothing wrong with preaching."

Patek has issued apologies to his victims and asked their families to forgive him.
No.
Asked what he could do in reparation, he said there was nothing except to say that "Islam is not a religion of violence".
Except for the jihad thingy, but surely that is a minor detail.
Link


Southeast Asia
FBI Agent Says 'Bali Bomber' was Explosives Expert
2012-04-20
[An Nahar] An FBI agent testifying in the trial of the suspected Bali bomb-maker said Thursday the accused had been identified as an explosives expert by other Islamic beturbanned goons and had planned to kill U.S. troops.

Indonesian prosecutors accuse Umar Patek, who was locked away last year in the same Pak town where U.S. commandos later killed al-Qaeda chief the late Osama bin Laden
... who was laid out deader than a mackerel...
, of constructing the bombs that killed 202 people, mostly Westerners.

Frank Pellegrino, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who interrogated many Islamic beturbanned goons following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, arrived in Bali shortly after the October 2002 nightclub bombings on the holiday island.

Pellegrino said he interrogated around 20 Islamic beturbanned goons, most from the al-Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), of which Patek is believed to be a key member and which was behind the Bali attacks.

"Many did know Mr. Patek and all described him -- especially after the time of Bali bombings -- as a leader, a bomb-maker, a well-known bomb-maker who knew how to mix chemicals and knew how to teach people how to mix chemicals," Pellegrino testified at the trial at the West Jakarta District Court.

Pellegrino was one of the FBI agents responsible for tracking self-confessed 9/11 criminal mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was caught by Pak authorities on March 1, 2003.

He said the FBI had already been looking into JI because of threats of an attack on the U.S. embassy in Singapore in 2001.

Patek's name was quickly known by the FBI after the Bali attacks, Pellegrino said.

"A very famous sketch was drawn of what he looked like," he told the court. "We realized pretty quickly it was Jemaah Islamiyah," he added.

Pellegrino said he had many discussions with Indonesian police following the Bali attacks about Patek's activities in Afghanistan, where the suspected bomb-maker is known to have trained.

"He continued being a terrorist, he continued making bombs and was planning to attack U.S. troops in the Philippines," he testified.

Patek, 45, went on trial in February, charged with murder, bomb-making and illegal firearms possession. Prosecutors say they will push for the death penalty.

Three JI members -- ringleader Imam Samudra and the brothers Mukhlas and Amrozi -- were executed by firing squad in November 2008 for their roles in the Bali bombings.

According to the indictment, Patek was involved in assembling the bombs for the attacks and also strikes on churches in Jakarta on Christmas Eve 2000.
Link


Southeast Asia
Inside the making of the Bali bombs
2012-02-12
Long look at the bomb-builder of the Bali terrorist attack. Worth noting the connections to Abbottabad and his proximity to bin Laden for a time.
JAKARTA, Indonesia: An Indonesian militant charged in the 2002 Bali terrorist attacks told interrogators he spent weeks holed up in a rented house, painstakingly building a half-ton bomb using household items including a rice ladle, a grocer's scale and plastic bags.

A transcript of the Umar Patek's interrogation obtained by The Associated Press offers extraordinary detail of the Bali plot just days before Patek -- a radical once Southeast Asia's most-wanted bomb-making suspect -- goes on trial in Jakarta for his alleged role in the nightclub attack that killed 202 people.

Patek, known as "Demolition Man" for his expertise with explosives, says he and other conspirators stashed the 1,540-pound (700-kilogram) bomb in four filing cabinets, loaded them in a Mitsubishi L300 van along with a TNT vest bomb. The van was detonated outside two nightclubs on Bali's famous Kuta beach on Oct. 12, 2002. Most of those killed were foreign tourists.

Although homemade bombs are easily assembled by militants all over the world, making such powerful devices as those used in Bali -- and using such unsophisticated equipment -- would have taken enormous amount of care and expertise.

Patek, 45, goes on trial Monday following a nine-year flight from justice that took him from Indonesia to the Philippines to Pakistan, reportedly in pursuit of more terrorism opportunities. He was finally caught in January 2011 in the same Pakistani town where US Navy Seals would kill Osama Bin Laden just a few months later.
Boy howdy, what a coincidence. Wonder if he and Binny shared the community pool?
Patek was hiding out in a second-floor room of a house in Abbottabad, a $1 million bounty on his head, when Pakistani security forces, acting on a tip from the CIA, burst in. After a firefight that left Patek wounded, he was captured and extradited to Indonesia.
Should have been extradited to Diego Garcia...
His capture was seen as a yardstick of the successes that Asian security forces, with US help, have achieved against Jemaah Islamiyah, the Al-Qaeda-linked regional terror group blamed for the Bali bombings and several other attacks in Indonesia. All its other leaders have been executed, killed by security forces, or are on death row.

Patek is charged with premeditated murder, hiding information about terrorism, illegal possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit terrorism, and now faces a possible death sentence as well. The indictment also accuses Patek of providing explosives for a string of Christmas Eve attacks on churches in 2000 that claimed 19 lives.

Interviews with intelligence officials in Indonesia and the Philippines, the interrogation report and other documents obtained by the AP reveal the peripatetic life Patek led after the Bali attacks as he ranged widely and freely, often without passing through immigration checks, while allegedly passing along his bomb-making skills to other terrorists.

Patek, whose real name is Hisyam bin Alizein, is the son of a goat meat trader. He went to computer school and learned English before being recruited into Jemaah Islamiyah by Dulmatin, a fellow militant who was gunned down by Indonesian police in March 2010.

After his arrest, Patek told his interrogators that he learned to make bombs during a 1991-1994 stint at a militant academy in Pakistan's Sadda province, and later in Turkhom, Afghanistan, where bomb-making courses ranged "from basic to very difficult."

He said he was living in Solo, Indonesia, when mastermind Imam Samudra approached him to make a bomb in Bali. He agreed and flew to Denpasar, Bali's capital, and was taken to a rented house.

"In one room of the house, I began to mix the explosive ingredients, which were already in the rental house," he said. "For about three weeks, I made the explosive ingredients into black powder with the assistance of Sawad (a co-conspirator). For tools used in the mixing of the ingredients, I used (a) scale that will usually be used in a food store, rice ladle and plastic bags as containers."

Dulmatin separately worked on the electronic circuits, which were later attached as detonators to the bombs packed into the filing cabinets.

"When we were lifting the filing cabinets into the white L300 van, an explosion occurred which was caused by friction of the filing cabinet with the floor of the room, because the floor still had some leftover black powder on it," he said.

Patek left Bali a few days before the attacks were carried out.

Afterward, officials said, Patek and Dulmatin went to the Philippines and allegedly joined forces with the local extremist group Abu Sayyaf, spending the next several years training militants and plotting attacks, including against US troops in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Imam Samudra and two other masterminds of the Bali attacks -- brothers Amrozi Nurhasyim and Ali Ghufron -- were caught, tried and executed.

Patek returned to Indonesia in June 2009, living in various rented houses in Jakarta. He held several meetings with radicals and aspiring militants at home and held assault rifle and bomb-making training sessions at a beach in Banten near Jakarta.

But Patek's heart was set on going to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taleban or other extremist groups, said Ansyaad Mbai, Indonesia's anti-terrorism chief. He told the AP that Patek intended to continue his fight in a more defined battleground with a larger radical group, and refused Dulmatin's offer to become an instructor in a new militant camp in Indonesia's Aceh province.

"He wanted to fight with a larger extremist group, and Afghanistan was the ideal battleground for him," Mbai said.

But to reach Afghanistan, he would have to go to Pakistan first. A police investigator said that a 37-year-old Pakistani in Indonesia, Nadeem Akhtar, helped Patek get a Pakistani visa from his embassy in Jakarta.
Why not just print up a fresh one?
After Patek arrived in Lahore, a courier with links to Al-Qaeda then brought him to Abbottabad, possibly to meet with Bin Laden.

Mbai did not rule out the possibility that Patek went to Abbottabad to not only gain a foothold into Afghanistan but also to obtain funds for setting up a militant training camp in Jolo in southern Philippines. But before he could make much progress or meet Bin Laden, he was caught.

Patek's trial not only seeks justice for the Bali bombings, but also is a coup for intelligence officials. He is believed to have valuable information about Al-Qaeda and its links with Jemaah Islamiyah, which was founded by Indonesian exiles in Malaysia in the early 1990s.

The Bali bombing remains JI's most spectacular attack. Though there have been several others since, but none as deadly. Analysts credit a crackdown that has netted more than 700 militants since 2000, including the death of several key leaders in police action.
Link


Southeast Asia
Indonesian court slashes Bashir's sentence
2011-10-28
In a potentially consequential blow to Indonesia's counter-terrorism efforts, Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has had his sentence cut by six years on appeal. The 73-year-old's trial, for funding and planning a terrorist militant training camp in Aceh, ended in June with him a 15 year jail sentence, which would have been likely to have put Bashir away for the rest of his life.

It was the biggest prosecution by the Indonesian state against an Islamic terrorist since the executions three years ago of 2002 Bali bombers Imam Samudra, Amrozi Nurhasyim and Huda bin Abdul Haq (Mukhlas).

However, the Jakarta High Court has reduced Bashir's sentence on appeal to nine years, which could see Bashir, also tried but ultimately acquitted of conspiring in the 2002 bombings, freed by the end of 2017.

It is up to state prosecutors, who had wanted a life sentence for Bashir on the Aceh charges, to appeal to the Supreme Court. However, there was no word from authorities by last night.

The sentence reduction, as is often the case in Indonesia, was decided without any announcement or even notification to Bashir's lawyers. It was confirmed by a court spokesman yesterday: "The chief judge verbally confirmed that Bashir's sentence has been reduced to nine years," official Ahmad Sobari said.

The decision was apparently taken last Thursday. Bashir lawyer, Ahmad Richdan, said,"We lawyers haven't received any court decision, so we cannot comment yet. They should tell the lawyers first . . . it's a pity that we learn from the media - I tried to confirm the news today but nobody was picking up the phone."

The lawyer confirmed that Bashir's team would continue to try to have Bashir's convictions overturned completely and the cleric freed.
Link


Southeast Asia
Bali bomb builder will retrace his steps
2011-10-19
Terror suspect Umar Patek will return today to the sites in Bali where the bombs he made nine years ago killed more than 200 people. Patek, held in Jakarta since his extradition from Pakistan in August, has admitted to having built the bombs.

He will re-enact for police what he did during the final hours before the series of bombs were detonated on the night of October 12, 2002. As part of that re-enactment, he will be taken to the site where the Sari Club once stood. The nightclub was flattened when a car bomb was set off by a suicide bomber just outside.

He will show police where and how he and his co-conspirators finished the explosive devices used for the attacks, as investigators look to build up a case against him.

Patek arrived in Bali amid tight security yesterday, along with others already convicted in the 2002 attacks. Yesterday, a police spokesman said, "One of the locations he will be taken to tomorrow is ground zero."

Patek's arrival in Bali comes after he claimed that he had attempted to stop the nightclub attacks from going ahead. In comments published by the Jakarta Globe, Patek claimed he warned Bali bomb co-ordinator Imam Samudra to cancel the attack in favor of the jihad in Pakistan.

He told the newspaper, "I only advised him, but the planning for the Bali bombing was almost done and could not possibly be cancelled.

"I wanted to live and wage jihad in Afghanistan. It is a jihad area because Muslims have indisputably been colonised by America and NATO."

Investigators have cast doubt on these comments and contend that Patek was a central figure in the attack. Authorities have previously admitted their chances of pursuing a terrorism case against Patek are limited because the tough anti-terrorism laws introduced in Indonesia in 2003 cannot be applied retrospectively.

It is more likely he will be charged with premeditated murder and possession of explosives, as well as a number of other relatively minor offenses. The murder charges will probably extend to a series of bombings of churches in Indonesian cities on Christmas Eve in 2000.
Link


Southeast Asia
Jihad declared on Indonesian police
2010-08-27
Mohammad Achwan, the terrorist who took over Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) after the arrest of Abu Bakar Bashir, declared jihad against the police.

A shoemaker
He made shoes for tossing as well as shoes for feet.
turned Islamist terrorist militant, Achwan was convicted for the bombing of the Borobudur Buddhist temple in Java in 1985 and an attempted bombing of Kuta beach in Bali in 1986. In 1999, he was pardoned after 15 years in jail.

"Why would I give up the fight after all these years? It's an obligation for all Muslims to fully apply the sharia. I'm here to make sure that happens," Achwan said in The Jakarta Post. "We have actually been under physical attack from the police's anti-terror squad Detachment 88. Those who can fight back are permitted to use violence as long as they have the necessary resources and capabilities," he said. He praised dead terrorists Dulmatin and Imam Samudra as people who had "such capabilities".

Key figures in the 2002 Bali bombings, Dulmatin was gunned down by police in March and Samudra was executed in 2008.
Let's hope that Achwan's capabilities lead to a similar result as soon as possible.
"For those who do not yet have the necessary resources to wage violent confrontation, they should wait and remain patient as their time will come. The battle still has a long way to go," Achwan said.
Link


Southeast Asia
Bali bomb mastermind to walk free
2009-08-29
HAMBALI, the terrorist mastermind believed to be behind the Bali bombings, is set to escape justice for his role in the 2002 attacks that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Senior US officials have told The Weekend Australian that military prosecutors lack the evidence to charge the Indonesian terror suspect Hambali over the bombings of the Sari Club and Paddy's Bar on October 12, 2002.

The paper says the news will come as a blow to relatives of those who perished in the deadliest terrorist attacks ever perpetrated against Australians. It follows the execution in Indonesia last year of the three bombers, Imam Samudra and brothers Amrozi and Mukhlas.

While authorities are confident they can tie Hambali to other terrorist attacks across the archipelago - ensuring he is almost certain to remain in custody - US officials say it is unlikely the 45-year-old will be charged over his role in the Bali bombings.

Despite the lack of evidence, there is a near universal consensus among experts, intelligence analysts and government officials that Hambali was involved in the twin blasts in the Kuta tourist strip.

Hambali, whose real name is Riduan Isamuddin, was arrested in 2003 in Thailand as part of a US-led operation. As al-Qaeda's chief of operations in South-East Asia, he is implicated in a string of attacks across Indonesia.
Link


Southeast Asia
Yudhoyono refuses to pardon Bali bombing convict
2009-03-21
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has refused to pardon Ali Imron, who was recently sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the 2002 Bali bombing. "His request has been denied. We have received the [presidential] decision letter," Denpasar District Prosecutor's Office head Ida Bagus Siwananda said.

Ali Imron was sentenced to life imprisonment last month for his role in the nightclub blasts that killed 202 people (mostly foreign holidaymakers) on Oct. 12, 2002. The sentence was lighter than that handed down to two of his brothers, Amrozi and Ali Gufron, who were executed along with Imam Samudra on Nov. 9 last year. Ali Imron has been cooperative during police investigations into the bombing and terrorist networks in Indonesia. He is now detained at Kerobokan Penitentiary in Denpasar.
Link


Southeast Asia
Jemaah Islamiyah moving from deeds to words?
2009-01-02
At a small, backstreet bookstore here, the young staff members, wearing matching green skull caps and sporting adolescent chin beards, stock books with titles like "Waiting for the Destruction of Israel" and "Principles of Jihad." They work quietly, listening to the voice of a firebrand Islamic preacher playing on the store's sound system, his sermon peppered with outbursts of machine-gun fire. Another young man, a customer, flips through a pile of DVDs that chronicle the conflicts in Chechnya, Afghanistan and Sudan. And in the back, slogans like "Support Your Local Mujahedeen" and "Taliban All-Stars" are scrawled across T-shirts, stickers and pins.

The bookstore, called Arofah, is a short walk from Pesantren Al-Mukmin, an Islamic boarding school closely associated with Jemaah Islamiyah, the Southeast Asian terrorist network linked to Al Qaeda that seeks to establish an Islamic state and has been implicated in most of the major terrorist bombings in Indonesia. Some of the most notorious extremists in Indonesia have graduated from the school, including Mukhlas, also known as Ali Ghufron, one of the three men put to death in November for their roles in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people. Imam Samudra and Mukhlas's younger brother Amrozi were also executed.

During their five years in prison, Mukhlas and Samudra wrote more than a dozen books. These books are now being picked up by several Solo-area publishers and will soon make their way to booksellers like Arofah. This consortium of publishers, many of whom openly support the ideological goals of the now-banned Jemaah Islamiyah, has developed over the past decade - spurred on by the fall of Suharto, the late authoritarian ruler of Indonesia, and the new freedoms democracy has provided.

The dissemination of jihadi thought, which includes topics as diverse as support for Islamic Shariah law and calls for violent action against non-Muslims, is troubling to counterterrorism officials. But analysts say what might be more troubling is what this small but expanding group of publishers indicates about how interconnected, and resilient, the Jemaah Islamiyah movement is in Indonesia.

There are at least a dozen loosely connected publishers in the Solo area. Although they are separate businesses often in competition with each other, they share editors, designers, printers, translators, distributors and even authors.

Mukhlas, the former operations chief for Jemaah Islamiyah, wrote nearly 10 books in the last five years that are waiting to be published, including an autobiography that is said to paint the Bali bombings as a justifiable act of vengeance for the ill-treatment of Muslims around the world and a book on the hidden meanings of dreams.

Samudra wrote a sequel to his 2005 defense of the Bali bombings, "Me Against the Terrorists." The new book addresses questions from the hundreds of readers about the first book and will be titled "They Are the Terrorists" - referring to Western leaders. He also wrote a book about human rights, one of his lawyers said.

"Most of the publishers come from Solo, but we hope to sell the books in both large, commercial bookstores as well as smaller ones across Indonesia," said the lawyer, Achmad Michdan, who has written introductions for several of the books.

Although the circle of Solo publishers is expanding, radical books generally do not sell that well in Indonesia. Samudra's first book, considered a breakout success for its type, sold only about 10,000 copies. Publishers can afford to print such books by piggybacking on another, broader trend: the ballooning demand for mainstream Islamic texts. Books that explore the Islamic lifestyle - addressing issues like how to be a good Muslim woman or the Islamic take on the end of the world and life after death - are the biggest sellers here now. One popular Muslim-themed love story sold hundreds of thousands of copies and was recently made into a movie.

Like their mainstream counterparts, the Solo-area publishers say they are only businessmen and are not necessarily trying to spread any particular ideology. "Although political books don't make much money, there is a growing market for them," said Tri Asmoro, the owner of Arofah bookstore, who also owns a publishing company of the same name and its imprint, Media Islamika, which is devoted to jihadi texts and carries the slogan "Join the Caravan of Martyrs."

Bambang Sukirno, who owns Aqwam Group and its imprint Jazera, which got its start with Samudra's first book, said he was only addressing a topical subject, just like "journalists and others around the world are doing." "We see that this 'terrorism' phenomenon, whether you like it or not, has seized space in this world," he said.

A report by the International Crisis Group earlier this year suggests that the rise of radical publishers could indicate that Jemaah Islamiyah is beginning to wage jihad through the printed page rather than violent acts. "Some publishers may be playing a more positive than negative role, directing members into above-ground activities and enabling them to promote a jihadi message without engaging in violence," the report says. But the message, once put into book form, often enters the classroom and Islamic study circles, ultimately helping to recruit young people into Jemaah Islamiyah's ranks, according to the Indonesian authorities.

The government, however, faces a quandary. As a secular government piloting the largest Muslim population in the world, it must balance its campaign to stamp out terrorist activities with its simultaneous effort to nurture a developing democracy and freedom of expression.

Sukirno, like the other publishers in the Solo area, is well aware of the government's concerns and is not worried that his company might be shut down because of the kinds of books he publishes.

"Democracy in Indonesia is thriving, and if the government ever tried to interfere in the publishing industry, well, that would be dangerous," he said. "Interference would just give birth to waves of resistance and undermine democracy. Books are a reflection of a civilized nation."
Link


Terror Networks
Family Condemns Photos of Executed Bali Bombers on Web
2008-11-16
The family of two Islamist extremists executed this week for the 2002 Bali bombings criticised an Indonesian Web site for publishing close-up photos of them in funeral shrouds, a report said Saturday.
I guess they're going to be real unhappy when I use a rubber stamp to strike 'Cancelled' on each of the pics for the Burg ...
Pictures of the faces of brothers Amrozi and Mukhlas as well as ringleader Imam Samudra after they were executed by firing squad on Nov. 9 appeared on the Islamist Ar Rahmah Web site. The photos were captioned with text in Arabic and Indonesian praising the murderers as the "martyrs of the battle of Bali."

Amrozi's and Mukhlas's eyes were open but Samudra's were shut.

"The family has been trying to anticipate this as best as we can but in the end the photos were stolen," Mohammad Chozin, the elder brother of Amrozi and Mukhlas, told Detikcom news Web site. "The family hasn't had the chance yet to ask Ar Rahman about this," he said.

Lawyer Fahmi Bachmid said the images were published against the will of the dead bombers.
Then again, who asked them?
The 2002 Bali bombings by the Jemaah Islamiahmilitant network killed 202 people including 88 Australians, in what the bombers said was the defense of Islam.
Link


Southeast Asia
Indonesia: Bali bombers asked Islamists to join them, claims group
2008-11-11
(AKI) - A radical Islamic group, Majelis Mujahideen Indonesia has claimed that one of the Bali bombers executed at the weekend had asked the group to be collaborate on the 2002 bomb attacks. "Amrozi had asked us to collaborate on the Bali bomb attacks," said Muhammad Bachroni, a spokesman for MMI, in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI).

He was referring to Amrozi Nurhasyim, one of the three Bali bombers executed on Sunday. "We said no, because our way of fighting for (Islamic) Sharia law does not include violence," said Bachroni.

Imam Samudra, Amrozi Nurhasyim and Ali Ghufron (Mukhlas) were executed by firing squad at the island prison of Nusakambangan off southern Java on Sunday, government officials said. The three, who belonged to Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, were found guilty of planning the twin attacks on nightclubs at the resort of Kuta on the island of Bali in October 2002. A total of 202 people died in the attacks, most of them foreigners.

Responding to the executions on Sunday, Bachroni said they were rushed and unfair. "The attack in Bali was carried out with a small nuclear bomb made in Israel. Amrozi and the others were co-opted in participating in the attack organised by the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)," Bachroni told AKI. "There needed to be more time to discover the other perpetrators," told Bachroni to AKI.

MMI is an Islamist organisation considered close to JI which aims at turning Indonesia into an Islamic state. Until last July, MMI was led by Abu Bakar Bashir, a radical cleric considered the spiritual leader of JI. Bashir has since formed another group called Jemaah Anshori Tauhid or defender of believing in one and only God teaching.

JI is widely considered south-east Asia's most dangerous terrorist organisation and was believed to be behind the bloodiest attacks in Indonesia. Intelligence agencies claim Bashir is the spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah and has links with Al-Qaeda.

In March 2005, Bashir was found guilty of conspiracy over the 2002 attacks. He was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment. In December 2006, Bashir's conviction was overturned by Indonesia's Supreme Court.
Link


-12 More