Bali Terrorism Worries Resurface After 5 Men Killed

The killing of five men who police say planned to attack tourists on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali has renewed concerns about terrorism there.

Indonesian police shot dead the five suspected terrorists in the capital Denpasar and the tourist resort of Sanur. They said the men had scoped a popular bar in the upmarket beach strip of Seminyak as a potential bombing target and had stockpiled firearms and ammunition.

According to ABC Australia’s Indonesia correspondent Matt Brown, the men who had evaded police may be linked to a terrorist network.

This all goes back to 2009 to Aceh in northern Sumatra when [the man behind the 2002 Bali bombing in which 202 people died] Dulmartin and a bunch of fellow travellers from a very broad range of jihadist and Islamist groups got together and established a terrorist training camp. That camp was busted in February of 2010, and since then, the notorious Abu Bakar Bashir has been jailed for his role in that camp. But, importantly, people who attended it have since scattered to the wind.

Since then, they’ve committed a series of terrorist acts including small attacks on police, as well as robberies to raise money for terrorism, and it was one of those robberies in Medan in Sumatra in August of 2010 that has led to this chain of events. Because a man allegedly involved in that robbery showed up in Bali in February this year. And that’s when this surveillance operation began. So basically, people from all over the archipelagos, two locals from Bali who’ve been living in for quite some time, but we don’t know their religion or where their parents grew up, and people from elsewhere in the archipelago.

Brown said that there are about five other suspects still believed to be on the run who may have also set up terrorist cells. Reports are that associates of the men killed have now fled Bali.

The Jakarta Globe newspaper reported that police believe there are at least four militant groups that could still be engaging in terrorist activities in Indonesia, including Jemaah Islamiyah, JAT, the Indonesian Islamic State and Tauhid wal Jihad.

The 2002 Bali bombings occurred in the tourist district of Kuta. The attack was the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of Indonesia, killing 202 people, including 88 Australians and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 240 people were injured.

Various members of Jemaah Islamiyah, a violent Islamist group, were convicted in relation to the bombings, including three individuals who were sentenced to death. Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, was found guilty and sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment. However, Bashir only served 18 months of his sentence, because of his indirect involvement with the incident. Bashir is now serving 15 years imprisonment after being convicted of helping to organize and fund a Jihadi training camp.

The trial began last month of a man accused of making the bombs used in the atrocity.

In 2005, another bomb in the same area killed 20 people.

The American government lifted its travel warnings for Bali in 2008. As of 2009, the Australian government still rates it at a four (out of five) danger level. Bali had 2.5 million visitors in 2010.

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Mandy Harker
Mandy H5 years ago

It's really hard to know what to do in the case of Bali, if you avoid it like the plague(in terror) you're letting the terrorists win because you're showing your fear. However if you do go there you do run the rather large risk of falling victim to these attacks.
Really I think it's a lose lose situation and there's not a whole lot you can really do but choose to risk it or not go and give into the terrorists(or you could be like me and too poor to go to Bali anyway!)

J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

Gives meaning to the phrase "The Dark Side of Paradise'...

Jez wildmoon
jayne TURNER5 years ago

People think Bali is Paradise but it does have another side. It's not just about Muslim terrorists either, it's the fact that many westerners, especially men, have been killed in Indonesia and it's been hushed up by the government there.

Daniel Aldouby
Danield A5 years ago

Folks, What almost happened in Bali is happening in Syria right now. The Syrian Spring started, with ordinary citizens demonstrating for more open and democratic government. That is when the Jihadist terrorists infiltrated the Democracy movement. They came from Somalia training camps, from Chechnya, from Afghanistan, and from other areas of the mid east and from Africa. Their scenario is the same as that of Libya. They will see to it that all potential moderate leadership in the freedom movement is either killed off by the Syrian Army, and those who survive will be assassinated by the terrorist Islamists. They place themselves, conveniently in non-combatant neighborhoods and towns, attack and place bombs indiscriminately, and the Army retaliates by shelling, and sending tanks. Two terrorist aims are thus accomplished by turning the civilian population against the regime, and also by getting rid of the democratic opposition. Do not be too quick to place all the blame for the horror onto the Assad regime. The blame also belongs to the fanatic haters of Western Civilization and its lure of individual rights and liberty.

Berny P.
berny p5 years ago


Tim C.
Tim C5 years ago


Lauren B.


Tommy S.
Tommy S5 years ago

What can I say-- a good result

pam w.
pam w5 years ago

The (mostly) gentle people of Bali are under the thumb of a stone-aged culture/"religion" and it won't go well for them! Tourism is critical to the economy but violent Islamists will have their way because of threats, intimidation and general THUGGERY.

I'm so sorry to hear this==it WAS a lovely place!

Carol Dreeszen
Carol Dreeszen5 years ago

Friends of ours have gone to Bali many times!! They have gotten a lot of furniture from there! :-(