Imam Samudra

Imam Samudra was an Indonesian-born member of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI),“Snow Announces Designation of 10 Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Terrorists,” U.S. Department of Treasury, September 5, 2003, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js700.aspx. one of four perpetrators and convicted “intellectual masterminds” of the 2002 Bali bombings.Associated Press, “Bali bomber sentenced to death,” Guardian (London), September 10, 2003, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/sep/10/australia.indonesia. The attacks, carried out on October 12, 2002, left 202 people dead and more than 200 others injured.“U.S. victims of 2002 Bali bombing remembered as ceremonies held worldwide to mark 10th anniversary,” Daily Mail, 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. Indonesian prosecutors allege that he learned how to make bombs in Afghanistan where he was fighting for the Taliban.“The Bali bombing plotters,” BBC, March 10, 2010, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2385323.stm#Imam_Samudra;
“The Bali bomb ‘commander’,” BBC News, November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2499943.stm.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, Samudra provided financial and operational support to JI in at least three separate bomb attacks.“Snow Announces Designation of 10 Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Terrorists,” U.S. Department of Treasury, September 5, 2003, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js700.aspx. He was arrested on November 21, 2002, for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings and was sentenced to death by an Indonesian court on September 10, 2003.Atika Shubert, “Bali bomb ‘mastermind’ arrested,” CNN, November 21, 2002, http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/southeast/11/21/bali.probe/;
Associated Press, “Bali bomber sentenced to death,” Guardian, September 10, 2003, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/sep/10/australia.indonesia.
Samudra and two of his co-conspirators—Huda bin Abdul Haq and Amrozi bin Nurhasyim—were executed on November 8, 2008.Sadie Gray, “Three Bali bombers executed by firing squad at midnight,” Independent (London), November 9, 2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/three-bali-bombers-executed-by-firing-squad-at-midnight-1003970.html.

In 1990, Samudra traveled from Indonesia to Malaysia and taught at a religious school in the south of the country.“The Bali bomb ‘commander’,” BBC News, November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2499943.stm. Indonesian authorities believe the school was founded by JI leader Abu Bakar Bashir and key JI operative, Riduan Isamuddin, a.k.a. Hambali. Samudra reportedly traveled to Afghanistan from 1991 to 1993 and received military training while fighting with the Taliban.“Snow Announces Designation of 10 Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Terrorists,” U.S. Department of Treasury, September 5, 2003, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js700.aspx. In 1998, Samudra took an oath of allegiance to Bashir as the leader of Indonesian extremist group JI.“Snow Announces Designation of 10 Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Terrorists,” U.S. Department of Treasury, September 5, 2003, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js700.aspx.

By his own admission, Samudra assisted Hambali with coordinating and financing the coordinated bombings of 24 churches in Jakarta on December 24, 2000.“Snow Announces Designation of 10 Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Terrorists,” U.S. Department of Treasury, September 5, 2003, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js700.aspx. The attack, carried out during Christmas services, left 19 people dead and more than 100 injured.Associated Press, “Timeline: bomb attacks in Indonesia,” Guardian, September 9, 2004, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/09/indonesia. Samudra also confessed to providing explosives for a botched bombing on August 1, 2001, during which one bomber exploded one of his legs in a Jakarta mall.Richard C. Paddock, “Bali Blast Suspect Says he Chose Sites,” Los Angeles Times, November 23, 2002, http://articles.latimes.com/2002/nov/23/world/fg-bali23.

On October 12, 2002, two bombs exploded in a popular tourist area in Bali, leaving 202 people dead and more than 200 others injured.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, 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 and the other in a van outside of Sari Club.“Timeline: Bali bomb trials,” BBC, 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 hurt.“Timeline: Bali bomb trials,” BBC, November 8, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/3126241.stm.

Indonesian police investigating the bombings, aided by Australian authorities, were led to Samudra and they began to monitor his bank accounts and mobile phones.“Indonesian police redeem themselves,” Age (Australia), November 30, 2002, http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/11/29/1038386312026.html. On November 21, 2002, Indonesian police arrested Samudra in Java as he attempted to travel to Sumatra in western Indonesia.Atika Shubert, “Bali bomb ‘mastermind’ arrested,” CNN, November 21, 2002, http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/southeast/11/21/bali.probe/. Upon his arrest, Samudra reportedly began confessing and implicating himself in several terrorists acts across Indonesia.“Indonesian police redeem themselves,” Age (Australia), November 30, 2002, http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/11/29/1038386312026.html. He also confessed to ordering two followers to rob a jewelry store in order to raise funds a month before the attack. The robbers had made away with more than $40,000.Richard C. Paddock, “Bali Blast Suspect Says he Chose Sites,” Los Angeles Times, November 23, 2002, http://articles.latimes.com/2002/nov/23/world/fg-bali23. The Indonesian police alleged that he also engaged in credit card fraud to further finance the attacks.Alan Sipress, “An Indonesian’s Prison Memoir Takes Holy War Into Cyberspace,” Washington Post, December 14, 2004, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62095-2004Dec13_2.html.

While in prison, Samudra wrote and published a memoir about the Bali bombings that became a best-seller in Indonesia.Peter Gelling, “Traveling to Indonesia’s Alcatraz to meet the Bali bombers,” New York Times, June 3, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/world/asia/03iht-bali.1.13417595.html. A small publisher produced 4,000 copies of the 280-page autobiography—titled Me Against the Terrorist!—wherein Samudra said that the attack was motivated by revenge for poor treatment against Muslims around the world. A technologically savvy engineer, Samudra included a chapter called, “Hacking, why not?,” in which he instructed readers to learn computer programming languages and hacking.Alan Sipress, “An Indonesian’s Prison Memoir Takes Holy War Into Cyberspace,” Washington Post, December 14, 2004, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62095-2004Dec13.html. Samudra also detailed how to steal credit card information online.Alan Sipress, “An Indonesian’s Prison Memoir Takes Holy War Into Cyberspace,” Washington Post, December 14, 2004, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62095-2004Dec13_2.html.

On September 10, 2003, Indonesian judges convicted Samudra of being the intellectual mastermind behind the Bali bombings, sentencing him to death by firing squad.Associated Press, “Bali bomber sentenced to death,” Guardian (London), September 10, 2003, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/sep/10/australia.indonesia. He reportedly showed no remorse during his trial and upon hearing his sentence, shouted “Allahu Akbar!” while pumping his fist in the air.Atika Shubert, “Bali bomb ‘mastermind’ arrested,” CNN, November 21, 2002, http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/southeast/11/21/bali.probe/;
AP Archive, “GNS: Verdict in trial of alleged bomber Imam Samudra,” YouTube, July 21, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65qIPPB2ZfU.
On November 8, 2008, Samudra and co-conspirators Abdul Haq and bin Nurhasyim were executed by firing squad in an undisclosed area of the Nusakambangan prison island.Sadie Gray, “Three Bali bombers executed by firing squad at midnight,” Independent (London), November 9, 2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/three-bali-bombers-executed-by-firing-squad-at-midnight-1003970.html.

United Nations

The United Nations added “Imam Samudra” to its Al-Qaida Sanctions List on September 9, 2003.“Security Council Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee Approves Deletion of Three Entries from Consolidated List,” U.N. Security Council, April 19, 2010, http://www.un.org/press/en/2010/sc9909.doc.htm. Following his death, the United Nations delisted “Imam Samudra” from the Al-Qaida and Taliban Consolidated List on April 19, 2010, pursuant to paragraph 25 of Security Council resolution 1822 (2008).“Security Council Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee Approves Deletion of Three Entries from Consolidated List,” U.N. Security Council, April 19, 2010, http://www.un.org/press/en/2010/sc9909.doc.htm.

United States

The U.S. Department of Treasury designated “Imam Samudra” as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) on September 5, 2003.“Snow Announces Designation of 10 Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Terrorists,” U.S. Department of Treasury, September 5, 2003, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js700.aspx. Following his death, the U.S. Department of Treasury deleted “Imam Samudra” from the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals List on May 6, 2010.“Recent OFAC Actions,” U.S. Department of Treasury, May 6, 2010, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20100506.aspx.

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