Suicide Bombers Staged Bali Attack, Prosecutors Say
Two bombs that destroyed a nightclub district and killed 202 people on the island of Bali in October were detonated by suicide bombers, prosecutors allege in a new document prepared for the first major trial in the bombing case.
According to the indictment of Amrozi bin H. Nurhasyim, who is scheduled to go on trial Monday on charges that he bought the Mitsubishi minivan and chemicals used in the attack, the two suicide bombers arrived at the scene together in the van and set off the devices moments apart.
One bomber, who used the names Feri and Isa, wore a vest containing explosives and walked into Paddy’s Club, where he detonated his bomb, killing himself and several others, the indictment says.
Moments later, a second bomber, who went by the names Arnasan and Jimi, detonated a car bomb outside the nearby Sari Club that killed nearly 200 people, the document says.
A third bomb that went off at about the same time outside the U.S. Consulate in Bali was detonated by a third man who triggered it using a cellular phone, authorities say. That blast was relatively small and did not harm anyone or damage the consulate.
During the police investigation of the Oct. 12 bombings, there were conflicting claims and theories about whether suicide bombers carried out either of the nightclub attacks.
Although Indonesia has been the target of numerous bombings over the years, terrorists here have not made a practice of engaging in intentional suicide attacks.
Furthermore, security was lax enough at the nightclubs that the perpetrators easily could have detonated the bombs with a cell phone or other remote-control device.
More than 30 people have been arrested for allegedly taking part in the Bali attack, including Amrozi and his brothers Ali Imron and Ali Gufron, who is better known as Mukhlas.
Mukhlas is alleged to be a top leader of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist network, which is accused of carrying out a number of bombings in the region to further its goal of creating an Islamic state across much of Southeast Asia. Authorities say most of the Bali bombing suspects are affiliated with the group.
Jemaah Islamiah is affiliated with the Al Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden, authorities say, and is listed by the United States as a terrorist organization.
Militant Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who is alleged to be the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah and has close ties to many of the accused Bali bombers, is on trial in Jakarta on treason charges.
He is accused of approving a deadly series of church bombings in 2000, but has not been charged in the Bali attacks.
Investigators were able to find Amrozi by tracing the ownership of the Mitsubishi van used in the bombing, and from him the trail led to his brothers and other alleged co-conspirators.
At least half a dozen suspects in the Bali attack are still on the run, including Indonesian cleric Riduan Isamuddin, who is better known as Hambali and is suspected of being Jemaah Islamiah’s top operations leader, and two men who authorities believe played a major part in building the bombs.