Monday, 02 July 2012 13:02
Umar Patek, the Jemaah Islamiyah terror bandbomb expert, finally meted a 20-year sentence for his role in the manslaughterof 202 innocent civilians out in a holiday revelry in Indonesia’s prime tourist destination – Bali in 2002.
Patek who became fugitive following the Balibombing was finally arrested in Abbottabad, Pakistan just a few weeks before AlQaeda’s Chieftain Osama bin Laden was killed by an American elite force in thesame township. He was whisked to Indonesia where he stood trial. Prosecutorshad wanted a tougher sentence of death by musketry, however Patek issued anapology for the crime adding that his role was just to mix the chemicals usedfor the improvised explosive they used in bombing the resort. He also claimedthat he was not aware where and how the bomb will used for. While he will bebehind bar for the next two decades, we cannot help but ask whether the courtbelieved him.
Of the 202 killed during the explosion, 88Australians and seven Americans were killed. The rest of the victims wereIndonesians and other foreign nationals. Bali was not to be the first and lastof their despicable and bestial operations. While they were targetingforeigners they did not spare the locals in their desire to instill terror.
Patek is a close comrade of Dulmatin, aranking member of Al Qaeda. Together they plotted the bombing in Bali and otherparts of Indonesia. In 2010, Indonesian intelligence operatives finally caughtup and killed Dulmatin in an internet café In Jakarta.
Both Patek and Dulmatin were believed tohave been operating in Mindanao and had touched base with Abu Sayyaf which soonbecame Al Qaeda’s allies in terrorist activities in Centeral and WesternMindanao. Patek’s homegrown bomb making technology was passed on to radical membersof the secessionist fronts while Dulmatin took charge of spreading the gospelof Osama bin Laden. Extensive operations that hunted them in conflict areas inMindanao prompted them to return to Indonesia and to hide in Pakistan where itwas believed he touched base with Bin Laden.
The neutralization of the top terroristoperatives has crippled the Jemaah Islamiyah. This virtually cut their tieswith the international terrorist ring. In the case of Abu Sayyaf, their leadershave also been accounted for. The remaining elements have turned to a viciousgroup of kidnap-for-ransom syndicates which had victimized any potential clientworth a ransom. And that includes foreign journalists, never mind if they tooare Muslims.
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