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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Bali Bomber Umar Patek Freed from an Indonesian Prison

He is associated with al-Qaida and was sentenced to 20 years in prison

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AUSTRALIA/INDONESIA: Despite the disapproval of Australia’s prime minister, who called him “abhorrent,” one of the bomb manufacturers in the 2002 Bali attacks that claimed more than 200 lives had been released on parole.

Umar Patek, a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah organization with ties to Al-Qaeda, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2012. He was held responsible for the bombings that destroyed two Bali nightclubs and killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

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The 55-year-old Patek, whose actual name is Hisyam bin Alizein, was escorted out of Surabaya, an East Javan city, at 8 a.m. (1 a.m. GMT) on Wednesday since no one from his family showed up to pick him up.

Patek obtained a total of 33 months in sentence reductions, which are frequently awarded to criminals on significant holidays, after being found guilty of the bombing and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

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Recently, on August 17, Indonesia’s Independence Day, he was given a five-month reduction. Aprianti explained that this indicated he had completed two-thirds of his current sentence necessary for parole.

The official said that after undertaking a deradicalization program, authorities believe the convicted extremist has “shown changes.”

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However, authorities have expressed concern that releasing Patek and his companion, Bali bomber Ali Imron, who is currently serving a life sentence, could increase their reputation after their release.

Canberra, which suffered the worst loss of life among the 21 nations whose citizens were killed, is sure to be incensed by the decision to release him early.

Anthony Albanese, the prime minister of Australia, declared in August that he felt nothing but “contempt” and disdain for Patek’s deeds and that his early release would only exacerbate the suffering and agony endured by the victims’ bereaved families.

Patek was apprehended in 2011 in Abbottabad, the same Pakistani city where US special forces killed Osama bin Laden, after nearly ten years on the run with a $1 million bounty on his head.

Patek reportedly asserted that his involvement in the 2002 bombings was a “mistake” and that he had opposed the strategy. “I didn’t come to Indonesia to join the Bali bomb project, he said in a video that was allegedly shot within Porong prison. Even when I first learned about it, I strongly opposed it. At the time, I enquired of the others as to the rationale behind the offensive strategy. There was no justification,” he added.

The worst atrocities in Indonesian history, the nightclub and bar attacks sparked a crackdown on radicalism in the nation with the largest Muslim population in the world.

Also Read: Canadian Police Unable to Recover Bodies of Murdered Indigenous Women

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