Thursday, September 24

Indonesia to try terror suspect Umar Patek


JAKARTA: The alleged mastermind behind Indonesia’s deadliest terrorist attack that killed more than 200 people in Bali a decade ago will likely stand trial next week, a prosecutor said yesterday.

Umar Patek, 41, could face death by firing squad if convicted of various terror-related charges, including bomb-making, premeditated murder, firearms possession and using false identification, prosecutor Bambang Suharyadi said.

“His case file has been submitted to the West Jakarta district court,” he said.

“We expect the trial to begin on Feb 15.”

Prosecutors recommended the court charge Patek with premeditated murder and assembling bombs in attacks on nightclubs on the resort island of Bali in 2002 that killed 202 people, and on churches in Jakarta on Christmas Eve in 2000.

“He mixed chemicals to make the Bali bombs, as well as the 13 bombs for the Christmas Eve attacks in Jakarta,” Suharyadi said.

Patek also tested out three M16 assault rifles to help prepare a terrorist training camp in Aceh province on Sumatra island, where police say militants were planning gun attacks on prominent Indonesian figures, Suharyadi said.

“He brought four pistols from the Philippines. He held on to one and gave the rest to his bodyguards.”

Born in 1970, Patek is a suspected member of the al-Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

While on the run Patek was one of Asia’s most wanted terror suspects and had a US$1 million bounty on his head under the US rewards for justice programme.

Patek was extradited from Pakistan last August, following his arrest in January in Abbottabad, the city where US SEALS killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a raid in May.

Indonesia has waged a successful crackdown on large terror networks and has significantly weakened the JI network, killing some
its top figures in bloody police raids.

Three of the masterminds of the 2002 Bali attacks — Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra — were executed by firing squad in November 2008. — AFP