Chilling video captures Bali bombing |

Chilling video captures Bali bombing

Firdia Lisnawati/Associated PressIndonesian forensic officers look through beach chairs at a beachside restaurant that was the scene of a bomb blast on Jimbaran beach in Bali, Indonesia, Sunday. Suicide bombers carried out attacks on three crowded restaurants on the resort island, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than a 100, a top anti-terror official said Sunday. He said two Malaysian fugitives were suspected of masterminding the strikes.

BALI, Indonesia – He wears a black T-shirt as he calmly enters the packed Bali restaurant and strolls by tourists sipping drinks and chatting at candlelit tables. He clutches his backpack, jiggles it a bit and then disappears behind a pole.Seconds later, there’s a big bang, a bright flash, gusts of black smoke and terrified screams.The chilling scene at the Raja cafe in Kuta district, captured by a tourist’s video camera, was being reviewed yesterday by police investigating the attack and two other near-simultaneous bombings the day before that killed 26 people and wounded 101 on this popular Indonesian tropical getaway.The video – obtained by Associated Press Television News – also shows chaotic post-blast images as the camera-wielding tourist flees to the street, where panicked people in tank tops and shorts mill around in confusion.Other evidence included the bombers’ body parts, said Maj. Gen. Ansyaad Mbai, a top Indonesian anti-terror official. All three bombers were believed to be wearing belts of explosives.”All that is left is their head and feet,” Mbai said. “By the evidence we can conclude the bombers were carrying the explosives around their waists.”The attacks apparently were planned by Southeast Asia’s two most-wanted men, who are believed to be connected to an al-Qaida-linked group, Mbai said.

The alleged masterminds were believed to be Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Mohamed Top, both Malaysians who fled to Indonesia after a crackdown on militants following the Sept. 11 attacks, officials said.The masterminds were not among the suspected bombers.President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono warned that terrorists could be planning more strikes in the world’s most populous Muslim nation as Jakarta’s police chief put the capital on top alert, with two-thirds of its police force on standby.”The terrorists are still looking for soft targets,” Yudhoyono said at a news conference after viewing the devastation.Western and Indonesian intelligence agencies have warned repeatedly that Jemaah Islamiyah was plotting more attacks despite a string of arrests.Last month, Yudhoyono said the extremist network might strike Jakarta during September or October. He explained Saturday that his warning was based on intelligence the terrorists had already prepared the explosives.There were no claims of responsibility for Saturday night’s coordinated attacks on two packed seafood cafes in the Jimbaran beach resort and the Raja Cafe noodle and steakhouse in the bustling tourist center of Kuta.Suspicion for the blasts fell on the Southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, which wants to establish an Islamic state across Southeast Asia and has been linked to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network.

Jemaah Islamiyah has been blamed for the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreigners, and subsequent attacks on the J.W. Marriott hotel and the Australian Embassy that killed 22. Saturday’s blasts occurred nearly three years to the day of the 2002 bombings, which also were in Kuta.Scores of Jemaah Islamiyah suspects have been arrested in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand since 2002, leading some officials to say the group’s leadership has been crippled. But analysts say the group appears to have taken on a different form, working with recruits from other organizations or groups.”The JI is the only group with the intention and capability to mount an attack on Bali on such a coordinated level,” said Singapore-based expert Rohan Gunaratna of the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies.Like 2002, the bombings took place on the busiest night of the week, just as crowds swelled.The head waiter at the Menega Cafe in Jimbaran said the bomb went off at his beachside restaurant between the tables of two large dinner parties sitting in the sand. Most of the 120 diners at the restaurant were Indonesian, he said.”Everyone started screaming, ‘Allah! Allah! Help!”‘ said Wayan Subagia, 23, who suffered leg injuries. “One woman rushed to pick up her child but the little girl was already dead.”Another blast occurred at the nearby Nyoman seafood restaurant.On Sunday, Yudhoyono visited Sanglah Hospital, near the island’s capital city, Denpasar, where dozens of people, most of them Indonesian, waited in tears for news of friends and relatives missing since the attacks. Several coffins were carried out. One was for a child.

The dead included 12 Indonesians, an Australian and a Japanese man. Officials were trying to identify the nationalities of the other corpses in the morgue, a hospital statement said.Bobby Nugroho, an Indonesian whose mother and father were killed, went to collect his parents’ remains at the hospital’s morgue.”A witness said that my father was sitting, facing the beach when a man opened his jacket and pulled the trigger in front of him,” said Nugroho, a Jakarta-based reporter in his late 20s who works for the Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizan Shimbun.It was unclear whether the death toll included the three suspected bombers.The 101 wounded included 49 Indonesians, 17 Australians, six Americans, six Koreans and four Japanese, officials said.Saturday’s attacks threaten to ruin a tourist boom on the mostly Hindu island, where hotels and restaurants have in the last 18 months reported that business topped pre-2002 levels. Some say it may take even longer to recover this time.Veli-Matti Enqvist, 51, was one of hundreds of tourists waiting for flights at the airport.”We were up all night trying to change our ticket,” said Enqvist, who had been scheduled to leave Bali with his wife Wednesday. “We finally found something … We’re going.”

Support Local Journalism