A bombmaker from Indonesia has apologized to victims’ families.
Umar Patek was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in 2012 for helping to mix bombs that were used in mass murder at two tourist bars in the island.
After serving about half of his sentence for the travesty which resulted in the deaths of 202 people (mainly tourists), he was released last week.
He was a leader member of Jemaah Islamiyah – an al Qaeda-linked network. This was responsible for the bombings at Kuta Beach nightclubs.
On Tuesday, he spoke to reporters and said that he apologises not only to Bali’s residents, but also to all Indonesians.
Patek stated that he also apologized to Australia for the Bali bombing crime.
“I also apologize to the victims and their family members at home as well as abroad. Regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, or religion, I sincerely apologize to them all.”
Patek was visiting Ali Fauzi, an ex-militant who is a friend and runs a program to deradicalize militants in East Java’s Tenggulun.
He wore a grey shirt with Javanese traditional headgear and received warmly from his former friends, many of whom were ex-convicts who had joined this scheme.
According to Indonesian authorities, Patek has been successfully reformated in prison and they intend to use him to encourage other terrorists to abandon terrorism.
He is being closely monitored, and will need to be part of a mentoring program until his parole expires on 29 April 2030.
In August, Patek’s imminent early release caused outrage in Australia.
Anthony Albanese, the Australian Prime Minister, described him as “abhorrent” and said that his freedom would cause more distress for the Australians who suffered the bombings.
On 12 October 2002, a suicide bomber detonated his device in Paddy’s Irish Bar. It killed 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians, and 23 Britons.
A van with explosives was set off at the Sari Club nearby, and people fled the scene.
The attack left hundreds of victims in Kuta, a bustling area, badly injured. Local hospitals were overwhelmed.
After being on the run for nine year, Patek was finally caught and sentenced to prison with a $1m reward. In 2011, he was finally captured in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Three men were executed later for their roles in the attack.