On the evening of 12th October 2002
(one year, one month and one day after the September 11
attacks) three bombs rocked the Indonesian island of Bali
, killing 202 people. To date it has been the deadliest terrorist attack targetting tourists.
The first bomb was detonated at 11:05pm in Paddy's Bar, a Kuta Beach nightclub. About 15 seconds later a second, much larger bomb, consisting of 100 kgs of ammonium nitrate explosives packed in a parked Mitsubishi van, exploded outside the nearby Sari Club. A third bomb was detonated near the American consulate a minute later but did not cause any casualties.
Within hours the Royal Australian Air Force
started one of its largest peacekeeping aeromedical evacuations
in history, ferrying in medical teams and bringing back 66 critically injured victims to Darwin
for treatment. Later police and intelligence officers from Australia
, the United States
arrived to work with the local authorities in investigating the crime.
The Islamic jihadist group Jemaah Islamiah was found to be responsible for the attack, who considered Western tourists as sufficently generic targets representing America (yet only seven Americans were killed, compared with 89 Australians, 38 Indonesians and 26 Britons). An investigation identified five Indonesians - Amrozi, Mukhlas, Ali Imron (all three brothers), Idris and Imam Samudra as having organised the attacks. Amrozi was sentenced to death in August 2003. The spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiah, Abu Bakar Bashir was arrested on an unrelated charge, and to the displeasure of many was sentenced to a four year gaol term on 2 September 2003.