Blast victim forgives duo

  • AseanPlus News
  • Wednesday, 04 Aug 2004

JAKARTA: Febby Firmansyah suffered horrific burns in the suicide bombing of Jakarta's J.W. Marriott hotel a year ago. But he told two militants accused of planning the attack that he forgave them and then confronted them – Muslim to Muslim – on the error of their ways. 

“I asked them what they were thinking,” Febby said of his emotional meeting with the suspects at police headquarters earlier this year.  

“There is nothing in the Quran that tells people to kill other believers.” 

“They said they did it for jihad to cleanse (Indonesia) of Americans. I said jihad is not like that,” the 27-year-old oil worker said. 

Twelve people were killed and more than 100 injured in the Aug 5 attack on the US-owned hotel, which will be commemorated tomorrow.  

It was blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah. 

Febby suffered second-degree burns across more than half his body and spent much of his three months in hospital in isolation to protect his exposed flesh from infection. 

He's now back at work in an office overlooking the hotel, which reopened four weeks after the blast and remains one of the city's busiest. 

Febby said he wanted to meet Tohir and Ismail – on trial accused of planning the bombing and buying the vehicle used in the attack – to let them “know the effect of their actions.” 

“When they saw me, they cried and hugged me and got down on their knees and asked for forgiveness. They said they were sorry and that they will pray for me,” said Febby. “I forgave them.” 

“I felt being in the Marriott was my destiny,” he said.  

“And now God has given me a second chance to live.” – AP  

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