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Bali Bombing Suspect Confesses to 3 Other Bombings - 2003-06-12

In Indonesia, an Islamic militant on trial for his alleged role in the last year's Bali bombing has confessed to his part in three other bomb attacks. Police say Amrozi bin Nurhasyim is a member of a regional militant group suspected of having links to al-Qaida. Amrozi bin Nurhasyim told a court in Bali Thursday that his terrorist activities date back to 2000 - when he first began to buy explosives and manufacture bombs. That year he bought the materials used to make a bomb that was detonated at a church, killing two people. He also confessed to playing a part in a bombing in 2001 in a Jakarta shopping center that injured five.

Mr. Amrozi admitted to buying the explosives used in an attack on the Philippines ambassador, Leonides Caday, in 2000. The blast at the ambassador's residence in Jakarta killed two people and injured at least 20 others - including the ambassador. At the time, Indonesian authorities linked the blast to the political situation in the southern Philippines, where Islamic rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland.

Mr. Amrozi has confessed to helping plan the October 12 bombing in Bali that killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists. At least 30 other people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Mr. Amrozi told the court Thursday that violence was the only way to drive foreigners from Indonesia. He said Westerners were destroying the morals of the Indonesian people. Police say the bombers are part of Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional militant group that Washington accuses of having links to the al-Qaida terrorist network. JI, as the group is known, seeks to build an Islamic state spanning much of Southeast Asia. Some JI suspects have said they attack Westerners because of what they say is the oppression of Muslims in the Philippines, Kashmir, Afghanistan, parts of Indonesia and other conflict zones. Police say Mr. Amrozi confessed to buying the chemicals and the van used to make the car bomb in Bali. He could face the death penalty if convicted.