Anton La Guardia, Telegraph (UK), April 7, 2006
Any white person is a target. Avoid hotels because they are too well protected. Carry the bombs in small knapsacks to avoid suspicion. And don’t worry about your escape route because you will become a “martyr”.
These guidelines for suicide bombers were found on a computer captured by Indonesian police during a raid in November, and are believed to have been written by the British-educated bomb-maker Azahari Husin, who died during the attack.
Azahari, in his mid-40s when he died, studied for a doctorate at the University of Reading, and was a leading Malaysian member of Jemaah Islamiah, the South East Asian terrorist group that has close ties to al-Qa’eda.
Azahari, nicknamed the Demolition Man by Malaysian newspapers, earned a Phd in property valuation at Reading and was an associate professor at the Malaysian Technology University. But in 1998 he took a sabbatical after falling under the influence of a radical preacher, and then trained in explosives with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Azahari had been the prime suspect in a campaign of bombings against western targets including two attacks on the tourist resorts of Bali in 2002 and 2005, killing 202 and 20 people respectively.
The 34-page document on his computer set out the meticulous planning and execution for the second Bali attack, including a minute-by-minute timetable culminating with the triple suicide bombing on Oct 1. The blasts were set for 7.34pm when the restaurants would be full, and the entry read: “Allahu Akbar” (God is great).
The document, entitled The Bali Project, was obtained by the New York Times after it was first reported in the Indonesian magazine Tempo.
It begins by asking: “Why Bali?” Because it will have a “global impact”. The author explained: “Bali is known around the world, better than Indonesia itself. An attack in Bali will be covered by the international media.”
Section 2, headed “Method of attack”, argues that the plan had to be different from the first Bali bombing, in which a mini van loaded with explosives was detonated in front of two nightclubs, because “security is tighter”.
The author notes that the police chief in Bali had increased the number of intelligence officers from 70 to 256, and it would have been too risky once again to bring in a large amount of explosives and more difficult to rent a house with a garage to assemble a bomb. Instead, the document said, “the bomb must be smaller, and brought in ready to use”.
It advocated attacking “foreign tourists from America and its allies” – including all Nato countries, as well as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. But given the difficulty in distinguishing different nationalities, the author concluded: “We will consider all white people the enemy.”
In that respect the attack largely backfired: 15 of the victims were Indonesians, some of them Muslims, with four victims from Australia and one from Japan.
The manual said three bombers should personally survey the sites themselves to familiarise themselves with the targets.
Possible targets included McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King and KFC restaurants, theatres, a golf course, tattoo parlours, art galleries and souvenir stalls.
In the next section, a question-and-answer exchange between the men and their “field commander”, presumably Azahari himself, the bombers decided to avoid taxis because the drivers might become suspicious of their heavy knapsacks.
The bombers chose to dress in black shirts, shorts cut below the knees or jeans, with trainers or sandals.
Discos and nightclubs had “no security to speak of” but were rejected because the bombers would look suspicious carrying knapsacks after 9pm.
Instead they opted for attacks on restaurants earlier in the evening. Simultaneous attacks in two locations, the document argued, “will have greater effect than simultaneous attacks in one location”. Moreover, the restaurants at Jimbaran were attractive because many of the clients were businessmen, and their deaths “will have a greater impact than of young people”.
In the final section, written after the attack, the author admits: “We tried to minimise the impact on Muslims. Nevertheless, there were still Muslim victims killed.”