Friday, June 22, 2012

22-Jun-12: Only twenty years prison because he expressed remorse... but not really

The devastation on the morning after the Bali terrorist attack.
The bomb maker got twenty years prison, and not death, because of
his "remorse" [Image Source]
A court in Indonesia yesterday convicted an Indonesian "militant" - in reality, an Islamist terrorist - on all charges relating to the making of the bombs that killed 202 people in the October 12, 2002 Bali resort island attacks. 

TIME Magazine points out the defendant, Umar Patek, is a leading member of Jemaah Islamiyahmeaning "Islamic Congregation". Generally regarded as the Southeast Asian branch of al-Qaeda, the terrorist group acts to create "a Daulah Islamiyah" or regional Islamic caliphate throughout Southeast Asia. His sentence was 20 years in prison. His conviction brings to an end the trials that resulted from the Kuta Beach massacre.

The five judges found Patek played a key role in building the explosives as well as in the Jakarta church attacks on Christmas Eve in 2000 that killed 19 more innocents. Now here's the interesting part, in TIME Magazine's words:
Some felt the sentence was too light, but were encouraged by the remorse Patek expressed during the trial. “We will use him to influence other militants to not carry out terrorism acts,” said Harry Purwanto, deputy chairman of Indonesia’s counter terrorism agency. “Our aim is not only to jail them, but to change their platform to be law-abiding citizens.”
The central idea here is remorse. We wrote about this particular Islamist killer three weeks ago - see "31-May-12: Highly effective terrorist, now on trial, is really sorry. Not." We pointed out that while the man had indeed expressed a kind of remorse, it did not sound all that welcome to our ears. We wrote that:
It's a fairly conditional kind of "sorry" from the terrorist who is on trial for his life. Reuters and others choose not to report that Patek said his role was "small" but it is "Jewish slander'' that has made it seem larger [source]. His real goal had been to "retaliate" for "the killing of Muslims in Palestine". He questioned why this should be done in Bali. After all, he said, "Jihad should be carried out in Palestine instead. But they said they did not know how to get to Palestine" [source].
This having taken place in Indonesia, it's also worth reflecting on comments made two years ago by that country's minister of justice. Patrialis Akbar was caught on video telling Al Jazeera that he would like the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists to go to Israel instead and bomb civilians there. His country's government would even give them some practical help. [Elder of Ziyon reported on this in 2010, and we reported it here.]

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