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Background: Bali Bombings

October 14, 2002 at 12:00 AM EDT

TRANSCRIPT

JULIAN MANYON, ITN: It is the worst act of terrorism since last September’s attacks on the United States, and it has left this holiday island stunned. Today Indonesian security forces were guarding the rubble of what was one of Bali’s most popular night spots. Australian policemen and American FBI agents have joined the hunt for clues, and a team from Scotland Yard is on its way. As the death toll mounted, bodies were still being brought to the island’s mortuaries. No one here could possibly have foreseen this carnage, and medical facilities have been struggling to cope. At one hospital, staff prayed for the victims while a local volunteer showed helpless anger.

MAN: Why they do this to us? Why? Do you know that? Can you tell me?

MAN: Anybody who has been evacuated who is anonymous.

JULIAN MANYON: Some are still hoping for a miracle. Today British businessman Mark Winegard searched the hospital’s list of dead and injured for any sign of his girlfriend, Anaca, who was last seen with friends in the discotheque shortly before it was bombed. Some on the list are named. Others are unidentified with just chilling descriptions of their injuries. Mark became increasingly distraught.

MARK WEINGARD: I’m going to find her at any cost. I’m going to find her whether she’s alive or dead, I’m going to find her and I’m going to take her home basically. I want to find her. I want to find my beautiful baby. If anybody knows where she is or any information whatsoever, please, please, please, you know, please let the authorities know.

JULIAN MANYON: Hundreds of tourists are heading for the airport, among them many Australians who normally regard Bali as a tropical playground on their doorstep. That peaceful reputation has now been shattered, perhaps forever.

JULIAN RUSH, ITN: Even as the police and his troops hunt for clues, Indonesia’s defense minister is certain who is guilty: Al-qaida.

MATORI ABDUL DJALIL, Indonesian Defense Minister (speaking through interpreter): I am convinced that al-Qaida is in Indonesia. I don’t have any doubts about it.

JULIAN RUSH: The finger of suspicion is being pointed most directly at this man. Abu Bakar Bashir is usually described as the spiritual leader of the group Jemaah Islamiyah, which is alleged to have links with al-Qaida. When Channel 4 News interviewed him exclusively recently at the religious school he runs, he praised Osama bin Laden but denied an al-Qaida connection.

ABU BAKAR BASHIR, Jemaah Islamiyah: (speaking through interpreter) Osama bin Laden is an Islamic fiber. He’s a soldier of Allah. As for al-Qaida, I only know what I have read. We have to respond to American aggression. It makes absolutely no sense for us to just stand and watch. It’s only natural that we respond to American aggression and arrogance.

JULIAN RUSH: Today the cleric said he did not agree with bombs. The attack, he said, was orchestrated by America.

ABU BAKAR BASHIR (speaking through interpreter): These are part of the United States global strategy to make it look as if there are terrorists in Indonesia so that the United States can come to interfere.

JULIAN RUSH: The evidence comes from two sources. First the interrogation of Jemaah Islamiyah militants arrested in Singapore in December last year. Some are thought to have trained in al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan. There’s evidence too from a Kuwaiti arrested in June in Indonesia, a senior al-Qaida member, he’s reported to have said he was planning car bomb attacks against U.S. Targets and to have linked Abu Bakar Bashir to the plots.