Bali bomb suspect calls West terrorists

A key suspect in the Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, said “small-fry terrorism” only exists as a result of and in opposition to the US, British and Israelis.

    Indonesian prosecutors want death penalty be imposed on Mukhlas

    Mukhlas, who may face a firing squad if convicted of helping plan last October's blasts, used his defence plea on Thursday to attack Western governments on everything, from  promoting free-market economies to dropping the atomic bomb on Japan.

    "These big fish in terrorism are the ones who conducted extraordinary crimes against humanity," he said, naming US President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, AFP reported.

    "They are the ones who made Muslims no longer go to the mosque, Christians never go to the church and Hindus never go to the temple but rather choose to go to places which offer to satiate lust," said Mukhlas at the trial.

    No apology

    Mukhlas did not apologise, though said Allah would judge the bombing. The explosion killed 38 Indonesians as well as 164 foreigners, most of whom were Australian.

    "Whatever the punishment, I am not afraid"


    Mukhlas reportedly heads jihad operations in Indonesia for Jamaah Islamiyah (JI), the group accused of having links to al-Qaida. JI is blamed for the Bali bombing.

    Prosecutors accuse Mukhlas of planning the attack, managing its financing and of giving fellow suspect Imam Samudra the go-ahead for the operation. Mukhlas denies a direct role in the attack, though admits he was in some way involved.

    “Whatever the punishment, I am not afraid,” Mukhlas told reporters on Thursday during a brief adjournment.

    Al-Qaida connection

    During his plea Mukhlas, who has claimed he knew Usama bin Ladin well during his time in Afghanistan, mounted a scathing attack on Western leaders, accusing them of waging war in fields including religion, the economy, politics and the military.
    He claimed religious terrorism was being waged through missionaries sent under the guise of conducting humanitarian activities, leading to the “massive conversion of Muslims.”

    Prosecutors are seeking death sentences for Mukhlas and Samudra, whose verdict is expected next Wednesday. Mukhlas's trial was adjourned to 11 September.

    Amrozi, Mukhlas's brother was sentenced to death last month.

    Police have detained 34 Bali suspects, of whom 27 are on trial.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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