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Bali bombers Mukhlas, Amrozi, and Imam Samudra has ben executed

Monday, November 10, 2008

Indonesia executed three Islamic militants by firing squad for the 2002 Bali bombings that left 202 people dead, many of them foreign tourists, authorities said as they braced Sunday for possible revenge attacks.

The bodies of Imam Samudra, 38, and brothers Amrozi Nurhasyim, 47, and Ali Ghufron, 48, were brought by helicopter from the prison island of Nusakambangan to their home villages in east and west Java, where thousands of supporters welcomed them home as martyrs.

The Oct. 12, 2002, twin nightclub attacks -- allegedly funded by al-Qaida and carried out by members of the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah -- thrust Indonesia onto the front lines in the war on terror.

The three never expressed remorse, saying the suicide bombings were meant to punish the U.S. and its Western allies for atrocities in Afghanistan and elsewhere. They even taunted relatives of victims at their trials five years ago.

In recent months, the men had publicly expressed hopes that their executions would trigger revenge attacks in Indonesia.

The capital has been on high alert, with extra police deployed at embassies, shopping malls and offices, but most analysts expect any reaction to be small and limited to demonstrations, bomb hoaxes and shows of solidarity at the men's funerals.

"But everyone should be extra-vigilant, at least for the next week," said Ken Conboy, a Jakarta-based security expert, noting that even small, peaceful rallies "can quickly spin out of control."

Though the three Bali bombers said they were happy to die martyrs, their lawyers fought for years to stop their executions, arguing that they had been convicted retroactively on anti-terrorism laws.

They also opposed death by firing squad, saying their clients preferred beheadings, because they were more "humane."

Mohamad Chozin, a brother of Nurhasyim and Ghufron, was among those who confirmed to The Associated Press early Sunday that they had received news that the men had been killed.

The three men were among more than 30 people convicted in connection with the bombings.

One of the attackers walked into Paddy's nightclub on a busy Saturday night, setting off a bomb attached to his vest. Minutes later, a larger car bomb exploded outside the nearby Sari Club.

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