Ali Imron

Ali Imron was the field coordinator of the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people and injured more than 200 others.Matthew Moore, “Key Bali bombing suspects arrested,” Age (Melbourne), January 15, 2003, http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/01/14/1042520616053.html;
Agence France-Presse, “Mastermind Muklas sentenced to firing squad,” Sydney Morning Herald, October 2, 2003, http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/10/02/1064988317681.html;
U.S. victims of 2002 Bali bombing remembered as ceremonies held worldwide to mark 10th anniversary,” Daily Mail (London), October 12, 2012, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2216949/U-S-victims-2002-Bali-bombing-remembered-ceremonies-held-worldwide-mark-10th-anniversary.html.
The younger brother of two other key members of the plot, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim and Huda bin Abdul Haq, Imron helped to prepare and transport the bombs used in the attacks.Tim Palmer, “Ali Imron awaits verdict for Bali bombing role,” Australian Broadcasting Company, September 18, 2003, http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2003/s948645.htm;
Tim Palmer, “Ali Imron awaits verdict for Bali bombing role,” Australian Broadcasting Company, September 18, 2003, http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2003/s948645.htm.
He was convicted for his involvement in the attacks and sentenced to a life in prison.“Timeline: Bali bomb trials,” BBC News, November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3126241.stm. He was reportedly spared the death penalty because he expressed remorse and cooperated with authorities after his arrest.Paige Cockburn, “Face to face with a terrorist: Bali bomber Ali Imron meets victims’ friends and families in Jakarta jail,” Australian Broadcasting Company, January 3, 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-04/victims-relatives-come-face-to-face-with-bali-bomber/6668596.

Imron was from the village of Tenggulun in East Java, Indonesia.Matthew Moore, “Key Bali bombing suspects arrested,” Age (Melbourne), January 15, 2003, http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/01/14/1042520616053.html. Before his involvement in the 2002 attack, Imron worked as a teacher at the Al Islam boarding school in Tenggulun.“‘Remorseful’ Bali bomber gets life sentence,” Guardian (London), September 18, 2003, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/sep/18/indonesia.australia;
Paul Toohey, “Al Islam boarding school in Indonesia continues to promote jihad,” News.com.au, November 8, 2014, http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/al-islam-boarding-school-in-indonesia-continues-to-promote-jihad/news-story/ead081588c3c22bd721cf0e7f58532a5.
He reportedly traveled with his brother bin Abdul Haq to Malaysia and then to Afghanistan in the 1990s, where he received firearms and explosives training.“The Bali bombing plotters,” BBC News, updated March 10, 2010, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2385323.stm;
Tim Palmer, “Ali Imron awaits verdict for Bali bombing role,” Australian Broadcasting Company, September 18, 2003, http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2003/s948645.htm.
Bin Abdul Haq later became the operations chief of the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).Agence France-Presse, “Mastermind Muklas sentenced to firing squad,” Sydney Morning Herald, October 2, 2003, http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/10/02/1064988317681.html. In 2002, JI began plotting a largescale attack on a “soft target,” and bin Abdul Haq recruited two of his younger brothers, Imron and bin Nurhaysim, to participate. Imron later reported that the terrorist group had decided on Bali as the target by August 2002 and had chosen the target because it was “frequented by Americans and their associates.” He also claimed that the attack was originally intended to be carried out on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but was postponed to the following month because the bombs were not ready in time.“The Bali bombing plot,” BBC News, updated March 10, 2010, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3157478.stm.

Imron played a significant role in the preparation of the attacks. He later confessed that he trained the suicide bombers and helped construct the bombs.Tim Palmer, “Ali Imron awaits verdict for Bali bombing role,” Australian Broadcasting Company, September 18, 2003, http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2003/s948645.htm. Imron and two accomplices also purchased a brand-new Yamaha motorbike from a dealership that they would use for transportation in the attack.William M. Wise, “Indonesia’s War on Terror,” United States – Indonesia Society, August 2005, 12, https://www.webcitation.org/5rAFxSKAn?url=http://www.usindo.org/publications/reports/pdf/WarOnTerror.pdf.

On October 12, 2002, two bombs exploded in Kuta, a popular tourist district in Bali, killing 202 people and injuring more than 200 others.Agence France-Presse, “Mastermind Muklas sentenced to firing squad,” Sydney Morning Herald, October 2, 2003, http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/10/02/1064988317681.html;
U.S. victims of 2002 Bali bombing remembered as ceremonies held worldwide to mark 10th anniversary,” Daily Mail (London), October 12, 2012, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2216949/U-S-victims-2002-Bali-bombing-remembered-ceremonies-held-worldwide-mark-10th-anniversary.html.
The planners had recruited two young Indonesian boys to detonate the bombs, one of whom detonated his suicide vest in Paddy’s Irish Bar while the set off explosives in a van outside of Sari Club.“Timeline: Bali bomb trials,” BBC News, November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3126241.stm; Kelly McEvers, “The Terrorist’s Wife,” Slate, November 1, 2005, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dispatches/features/2005/the_terrorists_wife/how_paridah_met_mukhlas.html. A third, smaller bomb was remotely detonated near the U.S. Consulate in Bali, though no one was injured.“Timeline: Bali bomb trials,” BBC News, November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3126241.stm. Authorities later discovered that Imron acted as the field coordinator in the attack.Matthew Moore, “Key Bali bombing suspects arrested,” Age (Melbourne), January 15, 2003, http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/01/14/1042520616053.html. He planted the bomb near the U.S. Consulate, transporting it there on the Yamaha motorbike. He also drove the two suicide bombers and their explosives to Kuta in the van used in the Sari Club bombing, then departed on the motorbike with another accomplice as the suicide bombers prepared to carry out their attacks.William M. Wise, “Indonesia’s War on Terror,” United States – Indonesia Society, August 2005, 12, https://www.webcitation.org/5rAFxSKAn?url=http://www.usindo.org/publications/reports/pdf/WarOnTerror.pdf.

Balinese police traced the van used in the attack to bin Imron’s brother, bin Nurhasyim, who was arrested in November 2002, revealing Imron’s name and association with the attack while under questioning.“Timeline: Bali bomb trials,” BBC News, November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3126241.stm;
Kelly McEvers, “The Terrorist’s Wife,” Slate, November 1, 2005, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/dispatches/features/2005/the_terrorists_wife/visiting_the_space_where_the_sari_club_used_to_be.html;
William M. Wise, “Indonesia’s War on Terror,” United States – Indonesia Society, August 2005, 9, https://www.webcitation.org/5rAFxSKAn?url=http://www.usindo.org/publications/reports/pdf/WarOnTerror.pdf.
Imron was arrested on January 13, 2003, at a fish farm on the island of the remote Indonesian island of Berukang, where he was hiding with two other accomplices from the plot.William M. Wise, “Indonesia’s War on Terror,” United States – Indonesia Society, August 2005, 11-12, https://www.webcitation.org/5rAFxSKAn?url=http://www.usindo.org/publications/reports/pdf/WarOnTerror.pdf. They had reportedly been intended to flee to Malaysia.“Timeline: Bali Nightclub Bombings,” Fox News, August 7, 2003, http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/08/07/timeline-bali-nightclub-bombings.html. Imron cooperated with authorities after his arrest, confessing his own role in the attacks and relating the plot in detail.Tim Palmer, “Ali Imron awaits verdict for Bali bombing role,” Australian Broadcasting Company, September 18, 2003, http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2003/s948645.htm. Imron revealed how and where one of the bombs used in the attack had been made, helping authorities discover the identity of one of the suicide bombers.William M. Wise, “Indonesia’s War on Terror,” United States – Indonesia Society, August 2005, 11-12, https://www.webcitation.org/5rAFxSKAn?url=http://www.usindo.org/publications/reports/pdf/WarOnTerror.pdf. He even demonstrated to authorities exactly how the bombs had been assembled.“The Bali bombing plotters,” BBC News, updated March 10, 2010, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2385323.stm. In addition to publicly admitting his role in the attacks in February 2003, Imron was the only one of the 30 suspects arrested in relation to the bombing to express any remorse, although he denounced the United States and its allies as “legitimate targets.”“Timeline: Bali bomb trials,” BBC News, updated November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3126241.stm;
“Trial Begins for Bali Bombing Suspect Ali Imron – 2003-07-21,” Voice of America, October 28, 2009, https://www.voanews.com/a/a-13-a-2003-07-21-15-trial-66857282/376098.html.
Imron continued to help authorities in 2003 by giving testimony against the other suspects on trial.“‘Remorseful’ Bali bomber gets life sentence,” Guardian (London), September 18, 2003, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/sep/18/indonesia.australia.

Imron was charged with constructing and delivering the largest of the three bombs used in the attack and went on trial in July 2003.“Trial Begins for Bali Bombing Suspect Ali Imron – 2003-07-21,” Voice of America, October 28, 2009, https://www.voanews.com/a/a-13-a-2003-07-21-15-trial-66857282/376098.html;
“Timeline: Bali bomb trials,” BBC News, updated November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3126241.stm;
“Bali Bombing Convict Imron Gets Life Sentence – 2003-09-18,” Voice of America, October 30, 2009, https://www.voanews.com/a/a-13-a-2003-09-18-24-bali/393952.html.
During his trial, he reportedly expressed remorse and testified that the attack was intended to target the West for its treatment of Muslims.“Timeline: Bali bomb trials,” BBC News, updated November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3126241.stm;
“Bali Bombing Convict Imron Gets Life Sentence – 2003-09-18,” Voice of America, October 30, 2009, https://www.voanews.com/a/a-13-a-2003-09-18-24-bali/393952.html;
“The Bali bombing plot,” BBC News, updated March 10, 2010, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3157478.stm.
On September 18, 2003, Imron was convicted for an act of terrorism and sentenced to life in prison.“Timeline: Bali bomb trials,” BBC News, November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3126241.stm. He was spared the death penalty, reportedly because he had expressed remorse and cooperated with authorities.Paige Cockburn, “Face to face with a terrorist: Bali bomber Ali Imron meets victims’ friends and families in Jakarta jail,” Australian Broadcasting Company, January 3, 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-04/victims-relatives-come-face-to-face-with-bali-bomber/6668596.

Imron was temporarily let out of prison in 2007 to work with authorities on de-radicalization programs.“Meet the Terrorists: Ali Imron,” SBS Australia, July 21, 2015, http://www.sbs.com.au/news/dateline/article/2015/07/21/meet-terrorists-ali-imron;
“Tackling Indonesian Terror,” Australian Broadcasting Company, December 23, 2007, http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/tackling-indonesian-terror/3289804.
In 2010, he was the subject of a comic book distributed to Indonesian youth as part of an official de-radicalization effort.Zoe Murphy and Yoko Sari, “Bali bomber Ali Imron becomes comic book character,” BBC News, August 6, 2010, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-10893889. In 2015, he met with friends and family members of victims who had been killed in the 2002 attacks.Paige Cockburn, “Face to face with a terrorist: Bali bomber Ali Imron meets victims’ friends and families in Jakarta jail,” Australian Broadcasting Company, January 3, 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-04/victims-relatives-come-face-to-face-with-bali-bomber/6668596.

Return to Full Database

Take action:

Help Counter Extremism

Stay updated on the latest

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On December 6, 2018, a suicide car bomb exploded near a police post in the Iranian port city of Chabahar, killing four officers and wounding 48 other people. Ansar al-Furqan, an al-Qaeda-linked Baloch insurgent group, claimed responsibility.

View Archive

CEP on Twitter