September 5, 2006

Web designer jailed over Bali bombings

DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - An Indonesian who set up a
militant Web site on behalf of the alleged mastermind of last
year's deadly bombings in Bali was jailed for eight years on

The sentence is the first linked to the Oct 1, 2005
bombings, in which three suicide bombers blew themselves up
killing 20 people at three restaurants on the resort island's
beaches of Jimbaran and Kuta.

Judges from the Denpasar district court found Abdul Aziz
broke anti-terrorism laws by setting up a now shutdown militant
Web site,, which contained diagrams of several
locations and explained why they would be ideal for attacking
people and how to escape after the attacks.

Aziz was also guilty of helping Southeast Asia's most
wanted terror fugitive, Noordin Top, disseminate through the
Internet a fiery speech calling on Muslims to wage war against
the United States and its allies.

"The panel of judges believe the defendant knew of the
involvement (of Top) in the incidents at Jimbaran and Kuta and
he had received the special task of making a site that
publicized the actions and claims of the October 1 Bali
bombings," said Edy Siregar, a member of three-judge panel.

The judges said the sentence reflected mitigating factors
after Aziz expressed regret for his actions. The maximum
punishment for terrorism crimes is death.

A case against three other Islamic militants linked to the
Bali bombings is still going on, including one alleged to have
helped assemble the bombs that were carried in back packs.

Police say Top and Azahari Husin, both Malaysian nationals,
were leading figures in the al Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian
network Jemaah Islamiah, blamed for terror attacks in the
region including other bombings in Bali in 2002 which killed
202 people.

Azahari, who often traveled with Top, was killed last year
during a shoot out in the East Java town of Malang.

Aside from the 2002 and 2005 Bali blasts, Jemaah Islamiah,
Top and Azahari have been linked to bombings at a luxury hotel
in Jakarta in 2003 and outside the Australian embassy in the
capital in 2004, among others.

Police and intelligence officials say Jemaah Islamiah has
become decentralized with some factions splitting off and
operating independently.

Officials say that despite the capture of around 300 people
suspected of violating anti-terrorism laws, violent militants
remain a serious threat in Indonesia, a vast archipelago with
17,000 islands and 220 million people.

An estimated 85 percent of Indonesians are Muslims. Most
are moderates but there has been an increasingly vocal militant
minority in recent years.