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Last Updated: Friday, 1 August, 2003, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Profile: Amrozi
Amrozi
Amrozi's apparently callous attitude has angered many
One week before a court sentenced him to death for his part in the Bali bombing, Amrozi appeared before the media to sing a song.

"Continue the holy struggle, get rid of Zionists, get rid of the Christian filth. God is great, this is my song," he sang, smiling broadly from behind a prison compound's bars.

It was not the first time Amrozi's behaviour had created confusion.

After his arrest in November 2002, his seeming good humour earned him the sobriquet of "the smiling bomber", as well as the vitriol of the press in Australia, where many of the Bali attack's victims lived.

Neither did his apparent callowness - he surprised police by saying Americans were their intended victims, when Australians were far more likely visitors to the island - square with the sophistication and destructiveness of the bombs.

Amrozi bin Nurhasyim was born in 1962 in the sleepy village of Tenggulun, a few miles inland from the coast of East Java, the fifth of 13 children.

Described as something of a black sheep, Amrozi did not do well at school, appearing more interested in motorbikes and girls.

Bali bomb attack
The Bali blasts killed more than 200 people
His mother, Haji Tariyem, told the BBC that Amrozi was a good boy, who at the time of the Bali attacks was living at home looking after his sick father.

Brother's influence

Villagers in Tenggulun have said that Amrozi left for Malaysia in the late 1980s in search of work, and returned in 1991 with much stronger Islamic beliefs.

While in Malaysia, police said he was reunited with his elder brother, Mukhlas, a deeply religious man and also on trial for the Bali attack.

Amrozi has described Mukhlas as an inspiration to him.

Police said that when Mukhlas returned to Tenggulun, he became more involved in the village's Al Islam boarding school, founded by another of Amrozi's brothers, where about 150 students follow a strictly religious curriculum.

Amrozi is said to have admitted to meeting the Muslim preacher Abu Bakar Ba'asyir on several occasions - while Mr Ba'asyir was in exile in Malaysia in the 1990s and more recently after the preacher's return in 1998, when he was invited to speak at the Al Islam school.

Mr Ba'asyir, the head of a large Islamic school near the city of Solo, is currently on trial for his alleged involvement in other bombings in Indonesia.

He is thought to be the founder and spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah, a shadowy, regional network of militants thought to have carried out a number of attacks across South East Asia.

Amrozi angered families of the Bali bombing victims when he was paraded before the media in November waving and laughing, and was quoted as saying that he was "delighted" by the attack.

"There is no regret at all for him. Doing his duty to God, he shows no regret. He's very calm, very cool... proud of his activities," the chief of the investigation, General I Made Mangku Pastika has said.

Mr Pastika said Amrozi's only regret about the bombing was the fact that most of the dead were Australians rather than Americans.

"He doesn't regret it but he is just unhappy," Mr Pastika added.





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