Plot to bomb Bali memorial service

Southeast Asian extremist network Jemaah Islamiyah reportedly planned to bomb a memorial service for those killed in the 2002 Bali attacks, but was deterred by high security.

    Terror attacks have damaged Bali's tourist economy

    Instead the group chose to attack tourist spots on the island two weeks before the anniversary, carrying out three suicide bombings on restaurants popular with Westerners on 1 October, the Australian newspaper reported on Friday.

     

    The bombings left 23 people dead and scores more injured.

     

    Citing intelligence sources in Indonesia, the paper said that master bomb-maker Azahari Husin had planned on placing a suicide bomber at the October 12 Bali memorial in the resort of Kuta.

     

    But the attack was cancelled because of the high level of security at the event attended by Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Justice Minister Chris Ellison, Bali police chief Chief I Made Mangku Pastika and relatives and friends of those killed in the blasts.

     

    Other targets

     

    Indonesian police have worked closely with their Australian counterparts since the 2002 bombings of a Bali nightclub strip in which 202 people were killed, including 88 Australians.

     

    Azahari, who was killed in a shootout with Indonesian police earlier this month, was also considering attacking other places frequented by tourists.

     

    Bomb maker Azahari was killed in
    a shootout with police

    Among the targets were Bali's airport, an art market in the hilltown of Ubud, temples, restaurants and the zoo, according to a document obtained by Indonesian police.

     

    The document, entitled The Bali Project, was written by Azahari after the 1 October attacks and listed the names, ages and nationalities of the victims and a "debriefing" about the attack, the paper said.

     

    It was contained on a computer disc being carried by a courier, Kholil, who was meant to deliver it to fugitive Jemaah Islamiyah strategist Noordin Top but was captured the day before Azahari was killed.

     

    Earlier this week Australian police chief Mick Keelty said that authorities now had the most detailed understanding of Jemaah Islamiyah operations.

     

    Thirty bombs

     

    His Indonesian counterpart, General Sutanto, has also revealed that Azahari had 30 bombs ready to be used in a new wave of attacks.

     

    A video warning of more strikes against Westerners was found in Azahari's hideout.

     

    In the video a balaclava-clad man, believed to be Top, threatened to attack Australia along with the US, Britain and Italy, countries that he said were "enemies of Islam" for their military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    SOURCE: AFP


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