The perpetrators of the 2002 Bali Bombings have been executed on the prison island of Nusakambagan, Indonesia.
The members of the South East Asian group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Amrozi bin Haji Nurhasyim (Amrozi) 47, Ali Gufron (Mukhlas) 48, Imam Samuda 38, were tied to wooden poles and shot through the heart shortly before midnight Saturday, five years after they were all given death sentences for their crimes which killed 202 and injured a further 209 in the tourist district of Kuta.
Among the dead were 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians, 28 British, and 7 Americans.
Supporters of the bombers and of the creation of an Islamic Caliphate (political leadership of an Islamic Ummah or nation) chanted songs and slogans as the bodies of Mukhlas and Amrozi were carried through the small village of Tenggulun in East Java.
Agence France-Presse described one man in Serang as saying “the bombers’ “jihad” was wrong”.
The British Foreign Office sent a clear message to travellers to avoid Bali in case of repeat attacks. The Australian Department for Foreign Affairs were even more explicit advising citizens to reconsider travel to Indonesia in this time of high threat.
Police were forced to block radical Islamic enthusiasts from the coffins but other than this crime was minimal. There are no reported retaliation acts.
The attacks on the night comprised of a suicide bomber detonating a bomb in the nightclub Paddy’s Pub, those who survived quickly fled the building into the street where approximately 15 seconds later another bomb was detonated, this time inside a parked van.
In April 2003 Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged co-founder of Jemaah Islamiyah was charged with treason for trying to overthrow the Government for an Islamic State. To the dismay of the Australian and the US Governments he was freed on the 14th of June 2006, serving only a small amount of his original sentence. He had his conviction overturned December 21st 2006. Bashir led the funerals of the bombers and was stated as saying that the bombers families “must be happy because the two died in the way of Allah in order to fight against evil in the world."
Melbourne Barrister Julian McMahon earlier this month called for the Bali Bombers not to be executed, stressing this will create martyrs of them. As the bombers were ever closer to their deaths they never showed remorse, even going as far as mocking their victims’ families in court.
There will be optimism among those who seek to see Hamboli, the ringleader behind the Bali Bombings, brought to justice as it has been reported that despite the pressure put on President-elect Barack Obama to close Guantanamo Bay, a trial for the evil mastermind, who has been in the prison camp since 2003, could be as soon as the end of the year, prosecutors say.
Bomb maker and suspected leading JI figure Noordin Mohammed Top, however, is thought to still be at large. Analysts have suggested he may be involved with an active splinter group.
Indonesia is a secular democratic state and it has the world’s largest Muslim population, most of whom abhor and condemn the extremism carried out by the JI.