Alleged Bali bomber ‘tried to stop attack’

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An Indonesian man accused of assembling explosives used in the 2002 Bali bombings said on Monday he tried to dissuade fellow militants from carrying out the attacks.

Umar Patek told judges there was a small explosion in the rented house where he and his fellow plotters, including Ali Imron and Imam Samudra were mixing the chemicals before the bombings.

“I told Ali Imron that (the explosion) was a warning from Allah,” he said in West Jakarta district court.

“Why are we going ahead with this? It (the explosion) shows that our action is not blessed,” he quoted himself as telling Imron. “He just nodded.”

Patek said he also spoke against the plan to ringleader Imam Samudra.

Imron was sentenced to life in prison for the bombings. Samudra was sentenced to death and executed in 2008 along with two other masterminds of the Bali bombings, Ali Ghufron and Amrozi bin Nurhasyim.

Patek, 45, told the court he was sorry for the bombings, which killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

Charges against him include premeditated murder, bomb-making, illegal possession of firearms and harbouring fugitives. He could face the death penalty if found guilty of the main charges.

Patek earlier said he was not involved in planning the Bali attacks and did not know the targets in advance.

He was one of Asia's most-wanted men when he was arrested in January 2011 in Abbottabad, the same Pakistani town where US forces later killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The US government had offered a 1-million-dollar bounty for information leading to Patek's arrest.

He was an alleged member of Jemaah Islamiyah, a South-East Asian Islamist group believed to be behind several attacks since 2000. - Sapa-dpa


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