For some reason, the report below has gotten very little media coverage even though it's already twenty-four hours old at this point. Why is this?
Islamic terrorists set free
Mark Dunn and Shannon McRae (The Herald-Sun, Melbourne, Australia) - November 17, 2006 12:00amWhen the Kuta Beach massacre happened on 12th October 2002, this same newspaper - the Melbourne Herald-Sun - contacted us and asked that we write a first-person response, an open letter to the families of the victims. Like most of the victims of Bali massacre, our daughter Malki was also an Australian-born victim of vicious terrorists acting in the name of Islam. She had been murdered a year earlier.
ALMOST 60 jailed Islamic extremists linked to such atrocities as the Bali bombings have been set free. They include 14 terrorists who have been quietly released in the past two months. Many of those who walked free in October and this month had at least two months cut from their sentences under Indonesia's justice system. They were convicted on charges linked to the two Bali bombings, attacks on the Australian Embassy and Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, and other atrocities.
The latest releases, and that in June of Jemaah Islamiah's spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir, have outraged families who lost loved ones in the 2002 and 2005 Bali terrorist strikes. Dozens more had been arrested by Indonesian police, often with the help of Australian authorities, and held for just days or weeks before being freed for lack of evidence. Those questioned but freed include Jemaah Islamiah member Bambang Tutuko, who was believed to have been trained in bomb making under the notorious Dr Azahari Husin. He was held for just one day in September 2003.
Australian survivors of the attacks were shocked last night to learn those responsible had escaped justice. "They've probably been in jail for maybe a couple of years. That's not enough. They're accessories to murder, they played a part in killing 202 people," said Melbourne man Dale Atkin, who suffered severe burns in the Sari Club bombing in 2002. Other survivors feared those set free could be plotting more terrorist attacks.
"While they're alive they've still got the opportunity to plan these attacks," said Leanne Woodgate, who escaped death when she fled Paddy's bar.
More than 200 prisoners are in Indonesian jails as a result of terrorism-related offences. But the dozens already released had been arrested for connections to the Bali, Australian Embassy and Marriott bombings, terror-linked weapons offences and a string of Christmas Eve church bombings in 2000. Others had harboured known terrorists who were being hunted for the 2002 Kuta attacks that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Among those freed in the past two months are:
SIROJUL Munir bin Achmad Asumi, convicted of providing money and harbouring terrorists after the Bali bombings, given a two-month remission on a five-year sentence.
GUN GUN Rusman Gunawan, jailed for involvement in JI's al-Ghuraba cell and document fraud. Also linked to financing the 2003 Marriott blast, which killed 12. Released at the end of Ramadan.
MUHAJIR bin Amin, Sukastopo bin Kartomiarjo and Eko Hadi Prasetyo bin Sukastopo, arrested in 2003 for helping hide Bali bomber Ali Imron in Kalimantan – each received a two-month sentence reduction.
MUHAMMAD Rusi bin Salim, KOMPAK member, also concealed the whereabouts of Imron while he was on the run.
PURYANTO, alias Pak De, helped hide Imron and fellow bomber Mubarok – later received a two-month remission.
ABDUL Haer, Mujahidin KOMPAK member arrested in 2003 in connection with attacks in Poso, sentenced to four years but released early.
ARMAN, Andang, Hamdan, Syafri and Hendra Yadi, also Mujahidin KOMPAK members arrested for the Poso attack, released this month.
Freed earlier were JI member Dedi Mulyadi, who was involved in the Christmas 2000 bombings in Java and released in 2004. Firmansyah, alias Edi Harun, was also freed after about two years' jail for helping hide Imron. And like JI leader Bashir who was controversially freed after 2 1/2 years, Abu Jibril, a close associate of Bashir and a primary recruiter for the group, was held for less than 3 1/2 years. Originally detained in Malaysia, Jibril was sentenced to 5 1/2 months for immigration and forgery but authorities could not lay terrorism charges. Dozens of other suspected militants were also picked up but were unable to be prosecuted because of lack of evidence. They include Dahlan, aka Leo, a JI member and trained bomb-maker who was held for a week.
Our article was duly submitted, but was never published in the pages of that Melbourne newspaper. It was, however, subsequently printed in several other places. The paper's editor at the time never responded to our several emails asking for an explanation.
As the Indonesian government shows, people can be a bit strange when terror is on the agenda.
Amrozi bin Nurhasyim (pictured above), one of the Moslem terrorists convicted of the Bali (Kuta beach) massacre, showed zero remorse in his trial. "I am very happy," he said "because they attack Muslims and are inhumane." His only regret was that he wished "there were more American casualties". Seven Americans died in the tragedy, along with 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians, 23 Britons, nine Swedes, six Germans, four Dutch nationals, and others. In all, people from 21 countries were killed.