Terror suspect Umar Pathek, 41, believed to be the technical mastermind behind the 2002 Bali bombing, was flown from Jakarta to Denpasar on Wednesday (October 19), along with four other participants in the attack that have long since been men convicted in connection with the bombings, in order to conduct a re-enactment of the terrorist attack that killed 202 people (mostly of whom were foreign tourists).
COMMENT: A subsequent benefit of the US Navy SEAL operation on the Osama bin Laden compound in Pakistan that resulted in the assassination of the al-Qaeda leader was the arrest of Pathek, who was eventually returned to Indonesia.
For our readers, there was also a second bombing in Bali, which occurred in 2005. Pathek had been listed as one of the world’s most dangerous terror fugitives; the US even put a bounty of US$1 million on his head. During the re-enactment, Pathek will demonstrate to police how he built the improvised explosive device (IED) at a boarding house on the resort island of Bali, and along with his allies loaded them onto a vehicle. The bomb was then driven to the Sari Club in the Kuta tourist district and detonated. Besides assembling the bombs used in the Bali attacks, Patek also confessed to carrying out a series of church bombings in Indonesia on Christmas Eve 2000.
Born in 1970, Patek is a suspected member of the al-Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). JI, meaning "Islamic Congregation," is a Southeast Asian militant Islamic organization, with cells operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Singapore and Brunei. The first Bali bombing, on October 12, 2002, actually was comprised of two detonations. The first IED was built into a backpack carried by a suicide bomber who detonated the bomb, which killed a small number of people in a nightclub, which drove the remaining survivors into the street, where the vast majority were killed by a massive fertilizer/fuel oil-constructed bomb concealed in a parked van.
After this attack, the U.S. State Department designated JI as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The group is also strongly believed to have carried out the 2003 JW Marriott hotel bombing in Kuningan, Jakarta, the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing in Jakarta, the 2005 Bali terrorist bombing and the 2009 JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel bombings. The Bali and JW Marriott attacks showed that JI did not rule out attacking the same target more than once.
The JI also has been directly and indirectly involved in dozens of bombings in the southern Philippines, usually in concert with Abu Sayaaf, and al-Qaeda linked group that primarily conducts attacks in the southern Philippines. It should be noted that most of JI's senior leadership have either been captured or killed, mostly by Indonesian anti-terrorist squad, Detachment 88.