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9/12/03 - BALI BOMBER SENTENCED - 2003-09-12

An Indonesian court convicted Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Imam Samudra for his part in the October 2002 bombings in Bali, that killed some two-hundred people from more than a dozen countries. Samudra also confessed to taking part in bombings of Christian churches in Indonesia in December 2000. He was sentenced to death.

Judge Ifa Sudewi said the bombings were "cruel, savage, inhuman and from the religious aspect, a forbidden action." Azyumardi Azra, a leading Islamic scholar, said, "there will be a positive impact for the government from the verdict because it sends signals that terrorism is intolerable in Indonesia." State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says the United States agrees:

"We commend the government of Indonesia for the professional manner in which it conducted this trial. The court sentenced Imam Samudra for his role in planning and executing the bombings. This was the worst act of terror since the September 11th attacks in the United States. . . . Bringing the perpetrators to justice is an important step in ensuring that what happened in Bali is not repeated."

Samudra is not the only Bali bombing perpetrator to be brought to justice. In August, co-conspirator Amrozi bin Nurhasyim was also sentenced to death. Jemaah Islamiyah founder Abu Bakar Bashir has been sentenced to prison for sedition. And Jemaah Islamiyah commander Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali, is now in U.S. custody. Some thirty suspected members of Jemaah Islamiyah have been arrested since the Bali bombings.

Jemaah Islamiyah has strong links to the al-Qaida terrorist network. Imam Samudra and many of his associates were trained in al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan. Those camps are now closed and many of their graduates are no longer a threat, says President George W. Bush:

"America and a broad coalition acted first in Afghanistan, by destroying the training camps of terror, and removing the regime that harbored al-Qaida. In a series of raids and actions around the world nearly two-thirds of al-Qaida's known leaders have been captured or killed, and we will continue on al-Qaida's trail."

Working together, the civilized nations of the world are winning the war on terrorism.