2005 Bali bombings

Infobox terrorist attack
title=2005 Bali bombings

caption=Broken glass litters the street outside a restaurant in Kuta in this image from television after bombs went off almost simultaneously in Bali. (AP/Metro TV via APTN)
location=Bali, Indonesia
target=Main square in central Kuta, warungs along the Jimbaran beach
date=1 October 2005
time-end=~ 7:00pm
type=Suicide bombings
fatalities=20 (including 3 suicide bombers)
perps=most likely Jemaah Islamiyah
The 2005 Bali bombings were a series of terrorist suicide bomb attacks that occurred on October 1, 2005, in Bali, Indonesia. Bombs exploded at two sites in Jimbaran and Kuta, both in south Bali. Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

The explosions

The Indonesian national news agency, ANTARA, reported that the first two explosions occurred at 6:50 p.m. local time, near a Jimbaran food court and the third at 7:00 pm. in Kuta Town Square. Other reports claim that the blasts occurred at around 7:15 p.m. At least 3 blasts have been reported.

One of the blasts struck Raja's Restaurant at the Kuta Square shopping mall in central Kuta. Another two bombs exploded at warungs along the Jimbaran beach, one of which was near the Four Seasons Hotel. These areas are generally popular with Western tourists. [ [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/171268/1/.html (CNA)] ] Police later said they had found three unexploded bombs in Jimbaran. They had apparently failed to go off after the security forces hastily shut down the island’s mobile telephone network following the first blasts. [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1807787,00.html timesonline.co.uk] ]

According to Indonesia's head of counter-terrorism, Major General Ansyaad Mbai, early evidence indicates that the attacks were carried out by at least three suicide bombers in a similar fashion to the 2002 bombings. The remnants of backpacks and excessively mutilated bodies are believed to be evidence of suicide bombings. There remains also a possibility that backpacks were hidden inside the target restaurants before detonation. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200510/s1472805.htm Australian Broadcasting Corporation] ; [http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,16790125-23109,00.html news.com.au] ; [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4301630.stm BBC] ] Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said that the bombs used appear to have differed from previous blasts in that most deaths and injuries had been inflicted by shrapnel, rather than chemical explosion. A medical officer's x-rays showed foreign objects described as "pellets" in many victims' bodies and a victim reported ball bearings lodged in her back. [ [http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,16790062-26619,00.html news/com.au] ]

The bombings occurred the same day that Indonesia cut its fuel subsidies resulting in gas prices rising by 125% and just two days before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and 11 days before the third anniversary of the 2002 Bali bombing. The attack came during the school holiday period in some states of Australia, when an estimated 7,500 Australians are believed to have been visiting Bali.


The latest report cites 20 dead and between 101 to 129 injured. [ [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/172345/1/.html CNA] ] Some earlier reports put the number of fatalities as between 26 to 36 people, but those figures have since been lowered. Among those killed are 15 Indonesians, 4 Australians, and a Japanese national, not counting the 3 suicide bombers. The wounded included many Indonesians, mostly Hindus while the rest were 19 Australians, 6 South Koreans, 6 Americans, 4 Japanese, 3 Canadians and 1 Briton. As there were no records at the hospitals or morgues on the locations from where the victims arrived, it is not possible to determine the casualty figures at each blast location separatelyFact|date=August 2008.

Most of the casualties were sent to Bali's Sanglah General Hospital, and mostly treated for injuries caused by broken glass. Others were sent to Griya Asih Hospital. [ [http://www.islamonline.org/English/News/2005-10/01/article06.shtml Islamonline.org] ] As in the 2002 bombings, some of the injured, primarily foreign nationals, were evacuated to medical facilities in Australia and Singapore. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200510/s1472748.htm ABC] ; [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200510/s1472723.htm ABC] ] The most severely injured were evacuated to Singapore, while other casualties, among them Australians, Japanese and an Indonesian, were evacuated to treatment in Darwin, Australia aboard a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules.

Following the 2002 Bali bombings, in which more Australians than any other nationals were killed and injured, and the 2004 bombing of Australia's Embassy in Jakarta, the latest attacks received extensive coverage in Australia and were denounced by some officials, such as Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, as an attack on Australians. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200510/s1472748.htm ABC] ]

Prior warnings

Indonesian authorities were expecting such an event, after the Indonesian president warned of more bombings within the country, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) had issued warnings two days before the event. However, the Australian government claimed that it received no specific prior warning of a terrorist attack being imminent in Bali. Minister Downer also played down any knowledge of specific signs of the potential event, despite the DFAT warning on the last day of September. [ [http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Indonesia Australian Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade] ] DFAT warned Australians against non-essential travel to Indonesia since before the 2002 attacks - a warning still in effect. The department advises travellers against congregating in areas popular with Western tourists.

In May 2005, the US State Department issued a travel warning against non-essential trips to Indonesia. The travel warning was last updated January 9, 2007. [ [http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_918.html travel.state.gov] ]

A Philippine security official said that for months intelligence officials in Southeast Asia had received information that the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group was orchestrating a major strike, possibly in the Philippines or Indonesia, but were unable to uncover the plot's details in time to prevent it. [ [http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20051002184630&irec=4 The Jakarta Post] ]

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's National News Radio network reported on October 3 that several Australian tourists had heard rumours about a planned bombing, prompting federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley to urge the Australian government to form closer intelligence ties with Indonesia.

On August 31, 2005, one month before the second Bali bombing, terrorists managed to put a partially assembled bomb on the 4th floor of Kuta Paradiso hotel. The bomb passed the security check at the hotel and the security cameras on the hotel were broken. There were no explosives in the bomb.Fact|date=February 2007


The attacks bear the hallmarks of the active terrorist network Jemaah Islamiah (JI), an organisation linked to Al-Qaeda, which is believed to be responsible for several bombings in Indonesia, including the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing, the 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing and the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing. Rohan Gunaratna, head of terrorism research at Singapore's Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, told Agence France-Presse that "The only group that has the intention and capability to mount a coordinated and simultaneous attack against a western target in Indonesia is Jemaah Islamiyah." [ [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/171277/1/.html CNA] ] Although a link to JI has not been confirmed, the bombings were quickly condemned as terrorist attacks by the authorities. Police Major General Ansyaad Mbai, a top Indonesian anti-terrorism official, told the Associated Press that the bombings "were clearly the work of terrorists". [ [http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/12792731.htm Ohio.com] ] Major General Mbai identified Malaysian men, already wanted in connection to previous bombings in Indonesia, as the suspected masterminds of the attacks. The chief suspect was Azahari Husin, a member of JI who was an engineering expert and former academic with a doctorate from University of Reading (late 1980s). Husin was nicknamed the "Demolition Man" and was thought to have collaborated with the second suspect: Noordin Mohammed Top, a bomb maker whose wife was sentenced to three years in prison for harbouring him. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/10/02/wbali102.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/10/02/ixnewstop.html Telegraph.co.uk] ] Azahari was killed in a police raid in November 2005, while Noordin remains on the run. Motivations for the bombings remain unclear. Some, such as the Australian Prime Minister, have suggested the attacks were intended to undermine Indonesia's moderate democratic government. Moreover, media organisations have suggested that the attack was planned to correspond with massive fuel price increases in Indonesia, so as to maximise economic and political damage. On the contrary, Dr Sidney Jones, of the International Crisis Group, believes that it was not an attempt to undermine democracy "per se", but rather an example of jihadist extremism: "I think they very much see the world in a black and white way, us against them, Muslims against infidels... [They see] that the infidels led by the United States as part of a Christian-Zionist conspiracy are out to persecute and attack and eliminate Muslims around the world, and therefore, [they] have to fight back." However, in common with the Prime Minister, Dr Jones believes the attack was indiscriminate and not an attack on Australians "per se". She suggested Bali was selected as the site of the attacks because there was less chance of Indonesian Muslims being killed, and there was "a chance of getting a few foreigners". [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200510/s1473775.htm Australian Broadcasting Corporation] ]

Following the attacks Abu Bakar Bashir, who is alleged to be JI's spiritual leader, released a statement from his prison cell, condemning the attack. But he added that the bombings were a sign of God's displeasure with the Indonesian government. He said: "I suggest the government bring themselves closer to God by implementing his rules and laws because these happenings are warnings from God for all of us." [ [http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/10/05/bali.detainees/ CNN] ]


Indonesian police believed that three suicide bombers carried out the bombings. A presidential spokesman Dino Djalal said that the police found a total of "six legs and three heads but no middle bodies, and that's the strong sign of suicide bombers." Photos of the three heads were published in The Jakarta Post on Monday, October 3, 2005. [ [http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?fileid=20051004.@01&irec=0 The Jakarta Post] ] Initially, there were conflicting reports on the number of bombs; but later, the police confirmed only three bombs. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/international/asia/02bali.html?hp&ex=1128312000&en=8fb20a0ee05adc3b&ei=5094&partner=homepage New York Times] ]

An amateur video capturing the scene at the restaurant in Kuta showed one bomber with a backpack walking inside just seconds before a huge explosion. [ [http://dailytelegraph.news.com.au/story/0,20281,16794917-5001021,00.html Daily Telegraph] ]

On the following Monday, on October 3, 2005, the police issued an appeal to the public for help identifing the suspected suicide bombers whose dismembered remains were found at the scene. Photos of the dead suspects were later distributed widely and a hotline was set up to receive tips.

According to Banten Police Chief Senior Commissioner Badrodin Haiti, the Indonesian police are seeking five members of a ring led by Imam Samudra, who has been sentenced to death for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings. Three of the five men had already served jail sentences for holding explosives belonging to Samudra. They were under police surveillance but had disappeared from their homes. [ [http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/10/05/bali.detainees/ CNN] ]

On October 9 2005, police in Bali arrested a man, identified by the initials HS, who is allegedly a former roommate of one of the suicide bomber. [ [http://www.tempointeractive.com/hg/nasional/2005/10/12/brk,20051012-67877,uk.html TEMPO] ]

According to Indonesian police, in 2005, a corrupt prison warden at the Kerobokan prison smuggled a laptop inside for Imam Samudra, the leader of the terrorist group involved in the first Bali bombing. He then used the laptop and a wireless connection to chat with other terrorist suspects. Police suspect Imam Samudra was involved in the second Bali bomb.

Political response


*President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono condemned the blasts as a "criminal act" and has called for an urgent meeting with Indonesian security officials. He visited the island. He vowed that those responsible would be caught, saying "We will hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice." [ [http://www.antara.co.id/en/seenws/?id=6634 ANTARA] ; [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4301630.stm BBC] ]
*Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo AS., State Intelligence Agency Head Syamsir Siregar and Police Chief General Sutanto have been instructed by the Indonesian President to leave for Bali on the evening of 1 October 2005. [ [http://www.antara.co.id/en/seenws/?id=6634 ANTARA] ]
*Vice-President Jusuf Kalla told the BBC that the government is uncertain of the group responsible for these attacks.


From every corner of the globe, innumerable leaders voiced sympathy for the victims of the bombing and solidarity with the people of Bali. From the United Nations to Africa to the Middle East to Latin America and beyond, world leaders condemned the attacks. Many expressed a desire to help the victims, and others pledged to hunt down the perpetrators and prevent future attacks.

ee also

* Jakarta Stock Exchange bombing
* Christmas Eve 2000 Indonesia bombings
* 2002 Bali bombing, which killed 202 people.
* 2002 Makassar bombing by Agung Abdul Hamid
* 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing, which killed 12 and injured 150.
* 2004 Sulawesi bombing
* 2004 Australian embassy bombing, which killed 9 people.
* Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic terrorist group that is active in Indonesia.
* December 2005 Palu bombing 2005 Sulawesi bombing


External links

* [http://www.antara.co.id/en/ ANTARA - Indonesian National News Agency]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4300274.stm BBC news report]
* [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200510/s1472676.htm ABC news report]
** [http://www.abc.net.au/news/indepth/featureitems/s1472756.htm Eyewitness accounts]
* [http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=65491 Ninemsn] , interview with Mercedes Corby
* [http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/search/FrameSet.aspx?s=EventImagesSearchState%7c1%7c0%7c28%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c1%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c55825983%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0%7c0&p=1&tag=1 Latest photos of the blast, Getty Images]
* [http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=aeY7AtLg9jeU&refer=top_world_news Bloomberg report]
* [http://news.indahnesia.com/event.php?event=34 Bali tourist areas hit by bombs]
* [http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/INDONESIA_BLASTS?SITE=RANDOM&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Associated Press news report] (random agency)
*OpenDemocracy [http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-protest/thailand_2886.jsp] Bali’s agony, Thailand’s turmoil: Analysis by Jan McGirk
* [http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/10/01/bali.blasts/index.html CNN report]
* [http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/10/02/bali.blasts/ CNN report] with link to amateur video that captured one of the blasts. (Warning - graphic content)
* 2000 Philippine ambassador bombing [http://today.reuters.com/News/CrisesArticle.aspx?storyId=L02042055 Reuters]
* [http://www.sais-jhu.edu/bwelsh/BYPolicyPaper.pdf Combating JI in Indonesia]

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