Mat Sukarto last saw his son in August when he told him he was leaving Java island to seek construction work elsewhere in Indonesia. The 58-year-old farmer has now had to accept that Misno took a different path and joined the country's growing list of suicide bombers.
His son Misno, who uses a single name, was one of three young militants who blew themselves up at crowded restaurants on the resort island of Bali last month, killing 20 people and wounding more than 100 others.
The Oct. 1 bombings, the fourth time suicide attackers have struck against Western targets in Indonesia since 2002, underscored how the tactic has taken root among terrorists in the world's most populous Muslim country.
Sukarto spoke at a news conference organized by the family's lawyer in the hope that reporters would no longer disturb the family once it was over. His wife cried throughout, and chose not to answer any questions.
The attacks were blamed on the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah terror network, the same group implicated in the 2002 nightclub bombings on Bali that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.
On Wednesday, an elite police unit killed one of the militants accused of masterminding the blasts, alleged Jemaah Islamiyah bomb maker Malaysian Azahari bin Husin, in a shootout in safe house in east Java province.
Sukarto said Misno the sixth of seven children dropped out of school during junior high, and left the family's poor home near central Java's Cilacap town soon after. His last job was that of a vendor of chicken porridge, Sukarto said.
He said his family had not been attracted to hardline Islamic teachings.
"He (Misno) wasn't especially religious and neither am I," he said. "He was a normal kid."
In August, Misno returned home and told his father that he was leaving for Batam, an island near Singapore, to find work as a construction worker. Sukarto said he told him he would write him when he had settled in there.
On Tuesday, another of Sukarto's sons recognized Misno from a photo of his severed head found at the scene of the attacks, and through a lawyer contacted the police, who took DNA samples from him and his wife. On Thursday, officers told him Misno was one of the bombers.
Police said Friday that a raid on a militant safe house had unearthed a video in which the three attackers tell their families they are preparing to carry out a "holy act."
The video, which police said was not intended to be distributed to the media as militant groups in the Middle East often do, is believed to mark the first time that suicide attackers in Indonesia have made such a recording of themselves, reported AP. P.T.
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