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Bali Nightclub Bombing


Shawnette Howard










This event occurred in Bali Indonesia in the year 2002 October 12 in the tourist district of Kuta. It killed 202 people and injured a further 209 people. The immediate responses include; the Australian government mobilized its Military troops and within 17 hours after the incident, Australian Military arrived in Bali to rescue the injured Australian citizens. The Indonesian government allowed the entry of the federal Bureau of Investigation officials from the United States of America to help in the investigations of the incident (Rachmawati & Adhariani, 2019). It also allowed the formation of a joint task force of British, Australian and United States of America police to also assist in the investigations. The government also passed the regulation of detaining terror suspects for up to six months without trial, a regulation that worked to boost the country’s legal power against terrorism.

The impact of the responses by the Indonesian government were on the rights and freedom of its citizens whether criminal or not. Every citizen has the right to a fair hearing in a court of law before a verdict of being detained is reached. Therefore, this is a negative impact on the rights of the citizens. The response by the government also negatively affected the relationship between the country and the United States of America in the sense that United States of America started thinking that the Indonesian government was not taking action against terrorism. It also exposed the tension that has always between existing between United States of America and Indonesia. The Indonesian government had owed to support the United States of American anti-terror war but after the sanctions made by the government, United States government felt that Indonesia was not taking any action against terrorism.

The response of the government to side with the United States of America in its war waged against terrorism and Islamic extremists groups unintentionally encouraged terrorism because the Muslims felt betrayed by their own government. Other countries such as Australia were impacted positively by the Indonesian government response in the sense that, Australia was allowed to bring in their officers to conduct the investigations, thereby enhancing the diplomatic relationship between those countries. It was a similar case also with the Great Britain.

The alternative to the response by the Indonesian government was to put regulations on scrutiny of individuals who are suspected on criminal activities and also including the Indonesian police in the combined police task force for conducting the investigations.

The decisions made by the Indonesian government include; the government decided to arrest Abu Bakar Bashir the leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah, the group suspected of responsibility for the bombing; the government also decided that any suspect of terror will be detained for up to six months without trial; the government decided to follow the anti-terror war that was initiated by the United States of America (Hussain, 2018). The intended purpose for the above decisions was to discourage any terrorists from engaging in any terrorism activity because they knew that the consequence was predetermined. The intended purpose for fostering the anti-terror war that was initiated by the United States of America was to strengthen the relationship between the Indonesian government and the United States government, a relationship which was dwindling and bringing tension between the two nations. The arrest of Abu Bakar Bashir the leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah was intended to weaken the group and to also question him on the adversities that followed the nightclub bombing.

The unintended consequences of the decisions and policies was the emergence of Muslim resistance and the criticisms of the vice president by other countries due to his inclination and the relationship he had with the major Islamic extremist group that was suspected of the bombing of the night club in Bali (Marshall, 2018). The government however could have responded directly to the terror attack through the following ways; arresting all the leaders of any extremists groups in the country together with any government official who is affiliated to any of the groups. This would have shown the seriousness of the government in its endeavors of curbing terrorism.

This alternative of dealing directly with the terrorism would have changed a lot of things. For instance, arresting of the government officials with affiliation to the Islamic extremists groups such as the vice president of the country would halt the confidence that such groups act with. This is because, with the vice president not able to offer his support to the groups, it means that the groups will be weak every day and as such, they will not be in a position of conducting any terror attacks. If the leader of the responsible of the extremist group had not been released on the mere assumptions of lack of evidence of him being involved terrorism activities, the attack wouldn’t have happened probably and as such, the arrest and detention of the leader, the organization of the terrorists would have been affected. This would still have halted their planned terrorist attacks. A weak terrorist group will always be less of a threat to the world we live in today because their threat of criminal terrorists’ activities increases with the increase in their strength.





Rachmawati, J. A., & Adhariani, D. (2019). Bomb attacks and earnings management: evidence from Indonesia. International Journal of Business and Society20(S1), 1-18.

Hussain, Z. (2018). Tourism positioning in Bali. Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends11(1), 99-110.

Marshall, P. (2018). Conflicts in Indonesian Islam. Current Trends in Islamist Ideology23(1).

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