The Bali Bomb and Australian Policy: Costly Delusion

Militant Islam was there in Indonesia for all to see long before the Bali bomb. How could Australian security analysts miss it?

The World Today Updated 21 October 2020 Published 1 January 2003 4 minute READ

David Martin

Vice President, European Parliament

Michael L R Smith

Department of War Studies, King's College London

Defining their country as part of Australasia led to serious policy errors that can now only be corrected by closer ties to Asian neighbours with similar concerns.

In downtown Jakarta bookstores, it is possible to pick up a slim volume entitled ‘Saya Teroris? Sebuah Pleidoi’ by Fauzan al-Anshari for little more than a dollar. It gives an account of the life, times and beliefs of self-styled Sheikh Abu Bakar Baasyir, identified as the spiritual guru of the Jemaah Islamiyah network allegedly behind the bombing of the Kuta Beach resort.

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