Fri, 22 Aug 2003

Bali bombings initially slated for Sept. 11, 2002

The group of terrorists responsible for the bombings in Bali's resort area of Kuta initially intended to detonate the 1,025 kilograms of explosives on Sept. 11 2002 to commemorate the first anniversary of the al-Qaeda-sponsored attack on the World Trade Center in New York, defendant Ali Imron admitted on Thursday.

In his sixth trial in Denpasar, Imron disclosed that the decision to execute the attack on that date was made by his elder brother Ali Gufron alias Mukhlas, who allegedly was playing a supervisory role in the bombings, and Imam Samudra, the alleged field commander of the group.

However, Imron acknowledged, that the date was moved back to Oct. 12, 2002 without his knowledge.

"I do not know why it was changed nor who decided the new date," he told the court.

On that fateful date, an explosion took place inside Paddy's Pub and was instantly followed by a huge explosion at the Sari Club. At least 202 people were killed in the bombings, mostly foreigners.

Imron also revealed that the five kilograms bomb that exploded in the empty street next to the U.S. Consular Agency office in Renon merely served as a warning to the U.S. government.

"It was a warning that they (the U.S.) were the actual target of the big bomb," he said. -- JP