AP

Australia wants Indonesia to monitor released bombmaker

Dec 7, 2022, 7:32 AM | Updated: Dec 8, 2022, 2:25 am

A man walks outside the Surabaya Prison where Indonesian militant Umar Patek was incarcerated in Po...

A man walks outside the Surabaya Prison where Indonesian militant Umar Patek was incarcerated in Porong, East Java, Indonesia, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022. The Islamic militant convicted of making the explosives used in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed over 200 people was paroled Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022 — after serving about half of his original 20-year prison sentence — despite strong objections by Australia, which lost scores of citizens in the Indonesian attacks. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)

(AP Photo/Trisnadi)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s government on Thursday said it was seeking assurances from Indonesia that the man convicted of making the bombs used in the 2002 Bali terrorist attacks would continue to be monitored after his release from prison.

Islamic militant Hisyam bin Alizein, also known as Umar Patek, was paroled Wednesday after serving about half of his original 20-year sentence, despite strong objections from Australia.

The attacks killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said it was a difficult day for those who lost loved ones in the bombings.

He told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that his government had advocated against Patek’s early release and would urge the Indonesian government to ensure he was under constant surveillance while on parole.

Indonesian authorities have said Patek, 55, was successfully reformed in prison and they will use him to influence other militants to turn away from terrorism.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said it was a horrible day for the victims and their families.

“This is a person who was in the Indonesian justice system. My personal view is his actions are inexcusable and completely abhorrent,” O’Neil said at the National Press Club in Canberra. “We don’t control the Indonesian justice system, and that is the way of the world.”

Muhammad Saiqullah, a terrorism analyst at the University of Indonesia, said Patek’s release is unlikely to increase the risk of terrorism in Indonesia partly because extremist cells are more fractured than they were 20 years ago.

“With the government crackdown on radicals, and a close monitoring of him, I doubt Patek is going to have much room for radical activities,” Saiqullah said.

Nasir Abas, an ex-leader of Jemaah Islamiyah who fought in Afghanistan and the Philippines but now works closely with Indonesia’s national counterterrorism agency and the deradicalization program, said he believes Patek has been reformed.

“Many are nervous about the growth of JI with Umar Patek being paroled — that it’s something that will motivate militants in Indonesia,” said Abas, a Malaysian national. “What I want to say is, don’t underestimate his commitment to leaving the jihadist organization.”

Among his conditions for release, Patek swore an oath of loyalty to Indonesia, which Abas said represented a “major shirk for an Islamist radical.”

Bombing survivor Peter Hughes, who gave evidence at Patek’s trial, said he and other survivors were skeptical the bomber was a changed man.

“There is a history of people like him, they won’t stop. For him to be let out is laughable,” Hughes told the ABC.

Another survivor, Jan Laczynski, said he was shocked and appalled at Patek’s release.

“I still can’t understand how this person that created so much loss of life, and not just for 88 Australians — 202 people — could be walking free this morning,” he told Channel 9.

Lawmaker Chris Bowen said Patek’s release was concerning but the Australian government respected Indonesia’s legal system.

“Indonesians and Australians were killed by these terrible murders, Indonesians and Australians went through this terrible ordeal together,” he told the ABC.

Patek was a leading member of Jemaah Islamiah, which was blamed for the blasts at two nightclubs in Kuta Beach. He was found guilty by the West Jakarta District Court of helping build a car bomb that was detonated by another person outside the Sari Club in Kuta on the night of October 12, 2002.

Moments earlier, a smaller bomb in a backpack was detonated by a suicide bomber in the nearby Paddy’s Pub nightclub.

___

Associated Press writer Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

4 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

6 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

7 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

7 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

8 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

9 days ago

Australia wants Indonesia to monitor released bombmaker