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‘Family focus’ for Bali bomb maker who wants to open a restaurant

Rika Aprianti, the spokeswoman for the Directorate General of Corrections, said security services would keep an eye on him.

“We are all responsible for terrorism, we must all monitor,” she said.

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Under parole rules, Patek’s wife Ruqayyah Binti Husein Luceno is also responsible for keeping an eye on him.

Ali Fauzi, a former Jemaah Islamiyah member who now heads a program aimed at deradicalizing terrorists, said Patek had ambitions to open a restaurant in Lamongan, near Surabaya, and to be involved in government efforts to tackle Islamic extremism.

“The first thing Umar wants now is to focus on his family,” said Fauzi, a brother of executed Bali bombers Amrozi and Ali Ghufron and another brother, Ali Imron, who was sentenced to life for his role in the Kuta nightclub attack .

“Umar has a strong intention to be a peace ambassador, to participate in the deradicalization program. The plan to run a small restaurant is still going ahead.”

Patek’s wife lived in a house near the prison in East Java province while he was imprisoned, but it was still unclear on Thursday where they would settle now.

He left prison on the same day as another convicted bomb maker who carried out a suicide bombing at a police station in Bandung, West Java. That attack killed a police officer and injured 11 others.

As Patek started a new life outside, Marles said it was a “difficult day” for Australians.

News of his imminent release in August had sparked outrage from relatives of victims and survivors, and raised concerns from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

It was a particularly sensitive time leading up to the 20th anniversary of the bombings, which was marked on October 12, and Patek ended up having to wait longer for his freedom.

However, the delay did not make development any easier for those who were in Bali on that fateful evening or had loved ones who did not return.

Perth Bali bombing survivor Antony Svilicich, 45, said it was “quite disappointing” that Patek had been released.

“I think he should still be in jail to be honest. To be allowed to roam freely? No,’ he said. “The punishment certainly doesn’t fit the crime.”

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Balinese survivor of the bombing, Thiolina Marpaung, said she was upset when she learned that Patek was absent.

“They will control Umar Patek until 2030 [and I don’t] trust that they can do it right,” she said.

“Because the terrorist who [conducted the] bomb in Bandung just got its freedom but did it again yesterday.

Melbourne man Jan Laczynski, who was in Bali when the explosions happened and lost friends, said he was shocked by the news.

“I hoped this day wouldn’t come,” he said. “If it came, I hoped it would be a few years later.”

– with AP

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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