Government Quashes Bali Bombers’ Books

Farouk Arnaz, Muninggar Saraswati & AFP – Taken From:

Indonesia is cracking down on books written by the three Bali bombers executed last year in an apparent bid to prevent the spread of their message of violence, a terrorism expert said on Wednesday.

The writings of the three bombers — Amrozi, his elder brother Ali Ghufron and Imam Samudra — have been published in three books called the “Martyrs’ Trilogy” by a small company, Ar Rahmah Media printing, owned by a son of an Islamic hard-liner once detained in Malaysia for allegedly conspiring to establish an Islamic state. The material was written while the three were on death row for their roles in the 2002 attacks that left 202 people dead.

Sydney Jones, senior adviser at the International Crisis Group, addressing a lunch with foreign journalists here, said the move marked government’s first efforts to stem the spread of their violent Islamist messages. “For the first time there is actually real attention on the part of the Indonesian government to what’s published and how it’s distributed,” she said.

Jones said the three men who faced the firing squad in December had been prolific writers and had often been quoted in media as calling for jihad, or holy war, against the west.

She said radical publishing houses had competed for their works. Jones said the government, through the state intelligence agency, had managed to delay the release of the three books for months, at one point buying up all the copies of an early printing.

The first of the books, written by Ali Ghufron, also known as Muklas, included an interpretation of the writer’s dreams according to his understanding of Islam.

A second book by his younger brother Amrozi, chronicles the author’s childhood in Lamongan, East Java Province.

Imam Samudra’s book, the third in the series, outlines his conviction that what he and his colleagues did in Bali was justified.

The three books carry a foreword from Abu Jibril, an advisory member of the Indonesian Mujahidin Council, or MMI, an umbrella organization for groups advocating the enforcement of Islamic Shariah law in Indonesia.

The owner of Ar Rahmah Media printing, Jibril Abdurrahman, who is the son of Abu Jibril, told the Jakarta Globe last night that the “Martyrs Trilogy” was going to have a second edition printed.

Abdurrahman said “a few people” urged them not to print a second run, but he declined to elaborate. “But we will still continue,” he said.


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