Security tight as Bali bombers' executions loom

Police stepped up security across Indonesia today, before the executions of three Islamic militants convicted over the 2002 Bali bombings.

Police stepped up security across Indonesia today, before the executions of three Islamic militants convicted over the 2002 Bali bombings.

The terror attacks on October 12, six years ago, killed 202 people, including 28 Britons.

Tourist destinations, vital installations and Western oil companies were under heavy guard, national police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira said.

The government said the three men – sentenced to death five years ago for planning and helping to carry out the twin nightclub attacks – would go before a firing squad within days.

Imam Samudra, Amrozi Nurhasyim, and Ali Ghufron have shown no remorse for the bombings and publicly expressed hope that their executions would trigger revenge attacks in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

But most analysts say the reaction will probably be small and limited to a show of solidarity at the men’s funerals.

Police, however, were not taking any chances, Mr Nataprawira said.

“We’re on alert for potential terrorist attacks,” he said.

In addition to beefed-up security elsewhere in the country, 1,000 police have been sent to Cilacap, the town nearest the prison island of Nusakambangan, where the three men are being held. Those forces include members of an elite mobile brigade and anti-terrorism unit.

The US Embassy in Jakarta issued a warning yesterday that Western interests could be targeted and urged American citizens to exercise caution. It also warned Americans to stay away from any demonstrations because even those “intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and violent”.

The Bali attacks – allegedly funded by al Qaida – were carried out by members and associates of Jemaah Islamiyah, a south-east Asian militant group blamed for at least three other suicide bombings in Indonesia since then.

The last bombings occurred in 2005, killing 21 people in multiple blasts in Bali cafes and restaurants.

Samudra, Nurhasyim, and Ghufron say they carried out the Bali bombings to avenge the deaths of Muslims in the US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of the victims in the twin blasts were foreign tourists, including 88 from Australia.

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