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Amrozi: Bali's 'smiling bomber'


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BALI BOMBING SUSPECTS ON TRIAL

Amrozi
- Prosecutors say he attended planning meetings, bought bomb-making chemicals and the van used the carry the largest bomb.

Imam Samudra
- Accused of planning and executing the attacks.

Mukhlas (Ali Ghufron)
- Accused of being in charge of the bombings.
- Said to be the operational chief of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

(CNN) -- To his family he is simply "Amrozi", but around the world he has become known as "the smiling bomber."

Images of the self-confessed murderer of more than 200 people joking with his police interrogators and smiling broadly as he was led into court have sparked astonishment and anger around the world -- not least in neighboring Australia where many of the victims came from.

Throughout his trial, each entrance into court has seen Amrozi punching the air with his fist and shouting "Allahu akbar (God is greatest)."

His lack of remorse and jocular defiance has made Amrozi the face of the Bali bombers.

But Amrozi was just one cog in a large machine, the scale of which has yet to become fully apparent.

And with the bombing of the Jakarta Marriott Hotel just days before Amrozi's trial concluded, the signs are that the machine is still very much operational.

Captured little more than a month after the October 12 blasts in Bali, Amrozi was quick to confess he had bought the minivan used in the main car bomb attack and the chemicals to make the explosives.

Shortly after his arrest, the first of 34 people held in connection with the bombing, he was paraded before invited journalists where he was photographed laughing and joking with his police captors.

He told them he was proud of what he had done, saying the attack was designed to kill as many Americans as possible and he was disappointed that most of the dead were Australians.

That provoked further astonishment. Bali is widely known as a popular and cheap holiday destination for thousands of young Australians and any attack there was bound to cause a large number of Australian casualties.

His statement was a sign of Amrozi's low educational level and an early indicator that he was in no way the brains behind the operation.

Enthusiastic

Rather Amrozi appears to have been an easily impressionable and enthusiastic operative in a ruthlessly planned attack designed simply to cause a maximum number of casualties.

His lawyers based his defense around proving he was not one of the planners of the carnage.

But still questions remain over how a once shy mechanic from a small village in eastern Java became the face of one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent years.

Born in 1962 Amrozi was the fifth of 13 children.

Two of his brothers are also on trial for their part in the Bali attacks and one of them, Mukhlas, is thought to have been a major influence in turning Amrozi to the militant cause.

After spending many years apart, the two are thought to have reunited in the late 1980s in Malaysia after Amrozi traveled there in search of work.

Prosecutors say he has also admitted meeting radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, the alleged spiritual leader of the shadowy Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror group who is himself on trial for treason and involvement in a series of earlier bombings.

Amrozi has, however, denied being a member of JI, saying he carried out the attacks to avenge the repression of Muslims around the world.

"Whites" he told the judges during his trial, deserved to die. "Violence is the only language they understand."


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