14 January 1970
Serang, Banten, Indonesia
9 November 2008 (aged 38)|
|Cause of death||Execution by firing squad|
|Known for||2002 Bali bombings|
|Criminal penalty||Death penalty|
Executed by firing squad
|Conviction(s)||Carrying out an act of terrorism|
12 October 2002|
23:05 CIT (UTC+08:00)
|Target(s)||Two nightclubs with Western clientele, US Consular office|
|Weapons||Suicide bombing, car bomb, and bomb vest using potassium chlorate|
|21 November 2002|
Imam Samudra (14 January 1970 – 9 November 2008), also known as Abdul Aziz, Qudama/Kudama, Fatih/Fat, Abu Umar or Heri, was an Indonesian who was convicted and executed for his role in carrying out the 2002 Bali bombings, an act of terrorism. Samudra, together with Huda bin Abdul Haq (known as Muklas) and Amrozi bin Nurhasyim (known as Amrozi) were executed together for their part in coordinating and carrying out the Bali bombings.
Samudra was born as Abdul Aziz in Serang, Banten (then part of West Java province), he was raised by a single mother as one of 12 children. Samudra graduated from an Islamic school. He left home in 1990 and did not return for a decade - and then only for a few hours before disappearing again, according to his mother. He went to Malaysia and taught at a religious school in the south of the country in the early 1990s. Indonesian authorities say the school was run by the suspected leaders of the militant Jemaah Islamiah group - Abu Bakar Ba'aysir, the group's spiritual leader, and Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali.
On 12 October 2002 two bombs explode in the Kuta tourist strip on the Indonesian island of Bali, Indonesia. One hits Paddy's Irish Bar, and the second explodes in a van outside the nearby Sari club. A total of 202 people die as a result. A third bomb explodes near Bali's US consulate, but no one is hurt. Arrested on 21 November 2002, Samudra was about to board a ferry for Sumatra. Police believe he was the planner or "field commander" of the Bali operation.
Samudra went on trial on 2 June 2003 and testified on 16 July 2003:
...[the bombing was] justifiable [under Islamic teachings].... [to] avenge the killings of Muslims by the United States and its allies.— Imam Samudra, during his trial, July 2003.
Sentence and execution
On 10 September 2003, he was found guilty for his role in the Bali bombing and sentenced to the death penalty to be executed by firing squad. Originally incarcerated in Denpasar's Kerobokan Prison, he was moved to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan. On 20 November he lodged an appeal against his sentence.
Together with the two other bombers who received death sentences, he launched a constitutional challenge against the use of firing squads. Samudra and the two other bombers preferred beheading, saying that it was a more Islamic form of execution. Despite an initial decision by Muklas, Amrozi and Imam Samudr to not seek a Presidential pardon, on 21 August 2006, Muklas and his co-conspirators authorised their lawyers to file a last appeal which was lodged on 7 December on the basis of retroactive legislation. On 25 September 2008, the Supreme Court of Indonesia rejected the final appeals of Imam Samudra and Mukhlas; having dismissed Amrozi's appeal earlier that month. In October 2008, he remained unrepentant and claimed revenge would be taken for his death. During the month, his final appeals were rejected and the Attorney General's office announced that he would be executed by firing squad in early November 2008.
According to a source in Indonesia's Attorney General Office, the execution was to be done before the end of Sunday, 9 November 2008. This was reportedly delayed from the original plan to allow a representative from the family to identify the body post-execution. However, no representative from Samudra's family were in attendance.
From his cell, he wrote an autobiography titled I Fight Terrorists (Aku Melawan Teroris in Bahasa Indonesia), where the "terrorists" are the Americans. It went on sale for US$3, on a run of 5,000 copies. In 2004, CNN described the book as a "bestseller in Indonesia".
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- "Negosiasi Dini Hari dan Pilihan yang Sulit". Detik.com (in Indonesian). 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2008.
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- "Bali bomber autobiography exposes mind of terrorist. Book reveals how Imam Samudra took the path that led him to kill 202 people". The Telegraph-Herald. 18 September 2004. p. 6A.
- Ressa, Maria (12 October 2004). "Bali bomber to best selling author". CNN.
- Death row bomber plotted new attack on smuggled laptop – requires login