An Indonesian court will today hand down the first verdict in the Bali bombing case amid fears of a new wave of terrorism from Islamic militants following a deadly attack in Jakarta.
Amrozi, 41, a village mechanic dubbed the "laughing bomber" who said the Bali attack taught foreigners a lesson, will be the first of more than 30 accused on trial on the resort island to receive a verdict.
The bombing killed 202 people, mostly Western vacationers, in Bali's famed Kuta tourist strip in the largest international terrorist strike since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the US.
Amrozi faces a possible death sentence when the panel of five judges issue their verdict at a special courtroom several kilometers from the scene of the attack.
Indonesia's much-maligned police had earned praise for unravelling the Bali plot and arresting several suspects described as key figures in the Jemaah Islamiyah organization (JI).
The Islamic militant network, which authorities say has ties to al-Qaeda, aims to establish an Islamic state stretching across several Southeast Asian countries.
Prosecutors say Amrozi and other suspects planned the Bali bombings to avenge perceived worldwide injustices against Muslims by the US and its allies.
Despite the arrest of the Bali suspects, including two brothers of Amrozi, analysts had cautioned that JI remained a significant regional threat.
On Tuesday the threat may have become reality after a car bomb killed at least 14 people and injured more than 100 when it exploded outside the American-operated JW Marriott hotel in an attack which terrorism experts said bore the mark of JI.
The Jakarta blast occurred just four days after Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri warned of the "horrible threat" posed by home-grown terrorists driven by "blind fanaticism."
The timing of the bombing was "most significant" because it occurred in the lead-up to Amrozi's verdict, said terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna.
"The Bali trial is reaching a very critical phase. Islamist groups are very angry about the prosecution of these people and certainly this is their way of expressing anger," said Rohan Gunaratna, a fellow at the Singapore-based Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies.
Amrozi is accused of attending several planning sessions ahead of the Bali attacks, and of buying one tonne of potassium chloride and other chemicals as well as the van used to carry the largest bomb. He is further charged with shipping the materials and driving the van to Bali.
Just after 11:00pm on Kuta's bustling tourist strip, the indictment says a suicide bomber detonated the explosive vest he was wearing inside Paddy's bar about the same time another suspect set off the massive bomb packed into a Mitsubishi van parked across the street outside the Sari Club.
Another suspect allegedly used a cell telephone to trigger a third bomb that caused only minor damage near the US consulate in Renon, Denpasar.
Indonesian officials who had been reluctant to admit the presence of terrorists in the world's largest Muslim nation finally started talking tough.
They arrested the reputed JI leader, Abu Bakar Bashir, who is not charged with the Bali attacks but is currently on trial for attempting to overthrow the Indonesian government through terrorism to establish an Islamic state.
He is accused of authorizing deadly church bombings and of plotting to assassinate Megawati Sukarnoputri before she became president.