INDONESIA: THREE EXECUTED IN BALI NIGHTCLUB BOMBINGS
|Executed were Ali Ghufron (L), Imam Samudra and Amrozi Nurhasyim
November 8, 2008: Indonesia executed three Islamic militants for helping plan and carry out the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists.
Imam Samudra, 38, and brothers Amrozi Nurhasyim, 47, and Ali Ghufron, 48, were executed several miles from their high security prison on Nusakambangan island, said Qadar Faisal, one of their attorneys.
Their bodies were brought by helicopter to their home villages in east and west Java, where they were met by thousands of emotional supporters who welcomed them as martyrs.
The Oct. 12, 2002 twin nightclub attacks â allegedly funded by al-Qaida and carried out by members of the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah â thrust the world's most populous Muslim nation onto the front lines in the war on terror.
The three never expressed remorse, saying the bombings were meant to punish the U.S. and its Western allies for alleged atrocities in Afghanistan and elsewhere. They even taunted relatives of victims â 88 of whom were Australian â at their trials five years ago.
In recent months, the men had publicly expressed hope their executions would trigger revenge attacks in Indonesia, a nation of 235 million people, where support for the bombers is limited to a small minority.
Though the three Bali bombers said they were happy to die martyrs, their lawyers fought for years to stop their executions, arguing they were convicted retroactively on anti-terrorism laws.
They also opposed death by firing squad, saying their clients preferred beheadings, because they were more "humane."
The executions were delayed several times, usually without explanation, but Jasman Panjaitan, a spokesman for the Attorney General's office, confirmed that the men had been killed and their bodies handed over to family members.
The three men were among more than 30 people convicted in connection with the bombings.
Jemaah Islamiyah was blamed for at least three other suicide bombings in Indonesia. But the 2002 attack, however, was by far the bloodiest.
One of the attackers walked into Paddy's nightclub on a busy Saturday night, setting off a bomb attached to his vest. Minutes later, a larger car bomb exploded outside the nearby Sari Club.
The dead included 38 Indonesians, 28 Britons and eight Americans â most revelers fleeing the first blast. (Sources: Ap, 08/11/2008)