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Key Witness Explains How Deadly Bali Bombing was Planned - 2003-07-09


A court in Indonesia has heard the most detailed description yet of how a group of Islamic militants planned and carried out the deadly bomb attack on the island of Bali last October. The account came from Ali Imron, the brother of the man accused of masterminding the plot.

Giving evidence Wednesday in the trial of his elder brother, Ali Ghufron, who is charged with masterminding last year's attack in Bali, Ali Imron told the court there had been one suicide bomber. He says the bomber wore a jacket with explosives sewn into the lining into a popular bar, then set off the charges.

The main charge, he says, the one that did the most damage, was packed in a minivan parked outside a nightclub, and was detonated using a mobile telephone.

More than 200 people, mostly western tourists, died in the blasts, which the alleged bombers say were part of a religious war against western interests.

Indonesian police accuse Ali Ghufron of being the operations chief of Jemaah Islamiah, a militant Muslim organization that is allegedly linked to al-Qaida.

Ali Imron was asked how he felt after the blasts. He said, "confused." He says he was partly happy that the attack went according to plan, but he admitted doubting that such an action could really be part of a holy war.

Ali Imron is one of three brothers accused in connection with the bombing. Apart from Ali Ghufron, another brother, Amrozi, is charged with buying the explosives and the van used in the attack.

Ali Imron is the only one of the bombers so far to publicly express regret for the bombing. He was giving evidence against his brother voluntarily because under Indonesian law, no one can be compelled to testify against close relatives.

The three brothers, and many of nearly 30 others arrested in connection with the attack, face death by firing squad if they are convicted.

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