At Guantanamo Bay, Bali bomb families are facing accusations

In Guantanamo Bay, families of British rugby players killed in the Bali terror attack in 2002 have gathered to see the sentencing of the two individuals who planned their murders. In their protracted fight for justice for their loved ones, their journey represents a turning point. The accused will serve six years as a result of a plea agreement. When Dan Miller, 31, and his wife Polly arrived on the Indonesian island of Bali, where they had first met two years prior, they had only been married for five weeks. Polly claims that in 2000, she first became aware of Dan’s “lively, dancey” eyes. He proposed on the island the next year, and they returned in 2002. She claims that was “our place”.

Al-Qaeda, however, intended to commemorate October 12, 2002, which was one year, one month, and one day following the 9/11 attacks on American soil. Dan, a Hong Kong-based lawyer, was a player for an international rugby team called the Vandals, who were in Bali on their annual tour. They spent the evening at the Sari Club, a popular neighborhood hangout. When Polly last saw her husband, he was asking her if she wanted a cocktail at the bar as she was making her way to the dance floor.

Abruptly, a loud bang from Paddy’s Bar, a nearby venue, cut through the Cher song the DJ was playing. Then there was another bang inside the Sari Club, this one much louder. Polly describes the massive explosion as “a yellow swirl of light… then being flipped into the air and somersaulted around,” like she’s in a movie. Her legs were burning as she realized there was something on top of her. “Oh my God, I’m going to die,” she said to herself. There were flames everywhere and people were shouting. After a section of the corrugated iron roof fell on Polly, she was able to lift it off and make her way outdoors.

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