The West

Tracking down the assassins
Amrozi - The Smiling Assassin and one of the main bombers.

The first arrest came less than a month after the 2002 bombings of two nightclubs in Bali, but it would be almost another decade before the hunt for the perpetrators finally came to a close.

Just after 11pm on October 12, 2002, the Sari Club in the bustling tourist area of Kuta in Bali, was levelled when a massive bomb loaded into a van parked outside was detonated.

About 20 seconds earlier, a suicide bomber had detonated a backpack loaded with explosives inside Paddy's Bar across the road.

The co-ordinated attacks killed 202 people including 88 Australians and injured scores more.

Three weeks later, police finished sifting through the rubble and had identified the extremist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) as being behind the attack.

One investigator proclaimed as the initial investigation was brought to a close: "We have all we need to nail these bad guys down."

On the same day, November 2, investigators got their first big break when they found a vehicle identification number on the chassis of the van that had been parked outside the Sari Club.

Ali Amrozi bin Haji Nurhasyim - whose cool, often nonchalant demeanour would see him labelled the smiling assassin - was arrested on November 5. He had bought the van.

In the weeks and months later, a handful of others were rounded up including Amrozi's two brothers, Ali Ghufron (aka Mukhlas) and Ali Imron, as well as Imam Samudra.

Other arrests and convictions followed, but it took until 2005 before Malaysian-born Dr Azahari bin Husin, believed to have been the technical mastermind behind the attacks, was killed in a police raid on his hideout in Indonesia.

Azahari had been known as the man who wrote JI's bombing handbook.

He also planned the 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

Abu Bakar Bashir, the former spiritual leader of JI, served almost 26 months for conspiracy over the 2002 Bali plot but was freed in 2006 and subsequently cleared of any involvement.

Amrozi, Samudra and Mukhlas were executed by firing squad at 00.15 local time on November 9, 2008.

At that time, two culprits remained at large.

Both Dulmatin and Umar Patek had been identified by Amrozi when he was initially questioned by police in November of 2002.

Dulmatin had helped to assemble the van bomb and explosive vests used in the attacks in Bali.

He was killed in a shootout with police on the outskirts of Jakarta in 2010.

Patek, the last of the main players, was finally captured in January 2011 in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad where US forces killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden less than four months later.

Authorities maintain Patek remained heavily involved in terrorism during the almost 10 years he spent on the run and was attempting to re-establish links with al-Qaeda when he was apprehended.

The last member of the 2002 Bali bombing plot to face justice was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June this year after being found guilty of mass murder for his role in Indonesia's deadliest terrorist attack.


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