Umar Patek, the bomb maker behind the terrorist attack in an Irish bar in Bali that killed 202 people, could be released in days

A bomb maker involved in a terrorist attack in Bali that killed 202 people could be released this month after his sentence was reduced in Indonesia.

Umar Patek was originally sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2012 after being found guilty of helping mix up the bombs that wiped out two popular tourist bars on the paradise island in 2002. The attacks, which injured another 209 people, were carried out by members of Jemaah Islamiyah – a violent Islamist group linked to al Qaeda – with Osama Bin Laden allegedly speaking a taped message obtained by the media explaining, that the attack was partly in retaliation for the US war on terror. Seven Americans were among the dead.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Patek had his sentence reduced by five months to coincide with Indonesia’s Independence Day, which means the bomb maker is now eligible for parole. The sentence reduction is one of several Patek received, but the decision to grant him parole has yet to be confirmed.

In addition to the Americans who were slaughtered, 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians and 23 Britons were among those killed when a suicide bomber entered Paddy’s Irish Bar on October 12, 2002 and detonated his device.

Frightened tourists fled the carnage onto the street in front of the bar. But a van loaded with much more powerful explosives parked across from the Irish pub blew up about 20 seconds later. The local medical infrastructure in the Kuta area was overwhelmed by the large number of casualties, many of whom suffered severe burns.

After being informed of Patek’s sentence reduction, Albanese said: “We have informed [Indonesia] our view on that decision.” He added, “They have a system where anniversaries often have sentences reduced and people commuted. But when it comes to someone who committed such a heinous crime, a designer and maker of a bomb designed to kill, kill and maim people, then we have a very strong opinion.”

Albanese argued that the families of the bomb victims would be concerned by Patek’s possible release and that he would continue to lobby the Indonesian government to prevent the terrorist from being released after serving only half of his original sentence. Three other terrorists convicted of the attacks were executed by firing squad in 2008, while a fourth died in a shootout with Indonesian police in 2010.

Patek was eventually brought to justice after spending nine years on the run, despite a $1 million bounty on his head. When authorities caught him in January 2011, he was hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan – the same city where Osama Bin Laden was eventually found and killed four months later. The head of Indonesia’s anti-terrorist agency said in the fall that Patek “helped lead the authorities to bin Laden,” Al Jazeera reports. Umar Patek, the bomb maker behind the terrorist attack in an Irish bar in Bali that killed 202 people, could be released in days


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