BALI, Indonesia: It was a Saturday night and the row of nightclubs lining Bali’s Legian Road were crammed with club-goers as they danced the night away to the rapid beat of house music and colourful light shows.
The one-way thoroughfare, famous for its nightlife, was lined with cars and motorcycles while its pavements were filled with tourists hoping to paint the town red.
However, there were those who came for a more sinister reason. Three members of the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorism network were there to launch an attack so calamitous it would be known as the deadliest terrorist attack in Indonesia’s history.
One of the three was Ali Imron who was tasked with overseeing the attack. The other two served as the suicide bombers.
Not much is known about the bombers other than the fact that they had many aliases and that the people involved in the attack referred to them as “Iqbal One” and “Iqbal Two”.
On Oct 12, 2002, Ali Imron instructed Iqbal One to carry a backpack filled with 1kg of explosives and make his way inside a crowded bar called Paddy’s Pub.
Meanwhile, Iqbal Two was told to drive a white Mitsubishi van packed with hundreds of kilograms of explosives.
At around 11pm, Iqbal One pulled the trigger, killing several people instantly and injuring many others. Survivors recounted seeing a ball of fire engulfing the interior of the property, sending patrons scrambling for their lives.