Bali bombing mastermind threatens to kill Bush and Sharon
JAKARTA: The mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings on Tuesday threatened to kill US President George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon if he ever gets out of jail, where he is waiting to be executed for his role in the attacks that killed 202 people.
Imam Samudra made the comments as six militants jailed over the nightclub bombings had their sentences cut by two months in traditional pardons to mark independence day, authorities said. Samudra’s sentence was not affected.
“If I am freed, I want to continue my Jihad (holy war),” he yelled from inside his prison cell in Bali to reporters covering independence day festivities at the jail. “I want to kill Bush and if I am freed I will do it, kill Bush. I want to go to Afghanistan. I want to go to Israel and kill Sharon.”
“Destroy America in Iraq and liberate Iraq. I am not afraid,” he said in footage filmed by Associated Press Television News.
Samudra also accused Australia and America of being “the kings of terrorism.”
“Indonesia is not really independent at all,” he said. “It’s under the control of America.”
Samudra has shown no remorse since his arrest, and regularly shouts out anti-western statements when in earshot of reporters.
The six militants who had their sentences reduced were convicted of crimes linked to the attacks, including hiding Samudra while he was on the run from the police, said prison head Tulus Widjajanto. They originally were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to 16 years. The two-month reductions in the terms were suggested by prison officials and approved by the state.
In Jakarta, President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who is facing a tough re-election battle next month, presided over a solemn independence day ceremony in the grounds of the State Palace in Jakarta.
Megawati is the daughter of Indonesia’s founding father Sukarno, and has cast herself as the defender of the country’s unity in the face of several separatist movements. In the country’s far western province of Aceh, troops killed 10 rebels in clashes across the region on Sunday, military spokesman Lt. Col. Asep Sapari said. Troops seized hundred rounds of ammunition and several rifles from the dead men.
Meanwhile, unidentified men on a motorbike threw a grenade at a crowd celebrating independence on Monday night, injuring seven people in northern Aceh, said local police Lt. Edi Yasman. Guerrillas in Aceh have been fighting since 1976 for an independent homeland in their oil- and gas-rich province. At least 13,000 people have died. ap