Date: May 08 2012
THE Bali bomb maker Umar Patek claims he only learnt after he came to the resort island that Westerners were to be the target of the explosive devices he was making, which ultimately killed 202 people.
But in the rented house where the chemicals were mixed and packed into filing cabinets in October 2002, he was taken to a room by fellow conspirator Imam Samudra and told the bombs were designed to kill ''bule'', or white people.
Mr Patek gave evidence for the first time yesterday in his trial in the West Jakarta District Court for premeditated murder and terrorism.
He said the reason he was given for the bombings was ''revenge for what happened to Muslims in Palestine''.
''We are going to explode nightclubs,'' Mr Patek quoted Samudra saying. ''I told him … that if you want to do that, it's better to go to Palestine. But he said he didn't know how to get there.''
Dulmatin, another conspirator, then told him ''don't think too much about it, just do it'', Mr Patek said.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Mr Patek, 45, but he has spent his trial denying knowledge of the events, apologising for the outcome and playing down his role.
After giving evidence yesterday, he strode to the back of the court, faced the media and asked forgiveness from the victims of the bombings and their families.
Mr Patek's expressions of regret are in conflict with his attitude at the time of his interrogation, when he said he had no regrets.
Asked about this, he said he was now telling the truth and that he thought his interrogators had been ''joking'' when they asked him about regrets.
Mr Patek told the court he had mixed less than 50 kilograms of chemicals, even though the final bomb weighed half a tonne. Fellow bomb maker Sawad, who is serving a life sentence in jail, was the main bomb mixer, he said.
He said that part of the reason for his minimal role was ''I couldn't stand the smell of aluminium powder''.
He also repeated earlier claims that he had tried to convince a number of his co-conspirators not to go ahead with the plot.
''I was so shocked seeing so many explosives had been prepared … I went back to Imam Samudra and said: 'What are you doing? … Muslims will also be hit,''' Mr Patek said.
''He didn't say much, he only said: 'Well, it's been decided.'
''I told him: 'No, you have to abort it, throw all the explosives to the sea.' I told him I never committed jihad in Indonesia.''
Mr Patek had a long career in Islamic terrorism, having fought with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines and been trained in bomb making with the mujahideen in Afghanistan.
He fled Indonesia shortly after the Bali bombing and was on the run for just over eight years before being caught in Abbottabad in Pakistan just three months before Osama bin Laden was killed there by American troops.
He says he never met bin Laden and did not realise the terrorist mastermind had given $30,000 to fund the Bali bombings.
He maintained yesterday that the bomb was ''a failure'' because it did not fit with his notion of jihad.
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