Michael Sheridan of the Times of London interviewed the men who planned, financed, and conducted the 2002 Bali bombing that left 202 people dead, including many Muslims. Not surprisingly, none regret the terrorist attack, conducted to “help Muslims”. They do regret killing the Muslims, however, but blame the CIA and/or the Mossad — for building the bomb:

Did he deny the charges? “People called me the mastermind of the Bali bombing,” he said. “Maybe right, maybe wrong. My only mission was to help the Muslims.”

And then he said something extraordinary. He claimed the bombers had never meant to kill so many people. What happened at Paddy’s Bar and the Sari Club was “unacceptable”, he said.

Had he made the bomb? “No, no, no!” he said, shaking his head. “I didn’t help to make it, and who made the bomb and when I don’t know.”

The second explosion was much bigger than they had expected, he said.

The only explanation, he suggested, was that “the CIA or KGB or Mossad” – those familiar bogeymen of the conspiracy theorist – had somehow tampered with the bomb. “It is very possible,” he claimed.

Yes, the CIA and the Mossad put cooperation with Islamist nutcases at the top of their list, especially after 9/11. Undoubtedly a few lunatics will actually believe this, and not just confined to the Muslim world, although that’s obviously the intended audience for this new conspiracy theory. They want to be seen as righteous martyrs for Islam, but want to push the blame for the deaths of Muslims to somebody else.

Recall the actual act. The Bali bombing occurred in two stages. First, they set off a bomb inside the club to kill a few tourists and drive the rest outside. Once people fled, the truck bomb that they constructed was detonated to kill a much larger group of people. The very design showed the intent to kill as many people in as wide an area as possible, including emergency responders from the local Bali government.

Sheridan notices this curious kind of denial as a running theme. Imam Samudrin, who masterminded the operation, talks about his extensive planning and scouting of the proper location for the attack. He chose the particular spot based on tourist literature, looking for popular clubs where “Zionists” would congregate. He spent two months on research, and managed not to kill a single Israeli — but did kill dozens of Muslims.

He wants pardon from the Muslims, but no one else. Despite having made a pilgrimage to meet Osama bin Laden before the attack, Samudrin tried to tell Sheridan that he had no connection to al-Qaeda, and that the Islamic faith is all they have in common. Samudrin apparently doesn’t even consider the other obvious connection: their hands are both drenched in the blood of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. He can try blaming the CIA and the Mossad all he likes, but the Indonesian firing squad will shortly end his fantasy life.