Book Review: David Craig’s Defeating Terror takes us behind the scenes in the hunt for the Bali bombers

Defeating Terror is a behind the scenes look at the hunt for the Bali bombers. Although, given the nature of the book, many of the names and situations, have been altered for legal reasons. The author, David Craig, was a senior officer in the Australian Federal Police (AFP), he has trained with international forces including the FBI, and served in various countries, including Indonesia, East Timor and Afghanistan.

Craig is undoubtedly a highly intelligent man, and one of Australia’s top counterterrorism experts. Taking charge of the investigation into the 2005 Bali 2 Bombing, he swiftly made his mark helping the Balinese police and Australian families caught up in the terror of the event. Gaining access to some top secret files about the Jamaah Islamiyahm (JI), a radical Islamic group,  who’s followers gave Craig valuable information in his hunt for the Bali bombers. He’s definitely someone you’d want on your side.

Defeating Terror is a fascinating read. The “man power”, the hours of investigation, the mistakes made by the terrorists, it all amounts to captivating reading. I found myself in disbelief at how ruthless these terrorists are. This is not an episode of NCIS or CSI, this is real life, with real terrorists wanting to kill real people, all in the name of radical Islam. This book is hard to imagine, but it’s so real, and that’s the really scary part. But, the great part is seeing how Australia, Indonesia and other countries are standing up to these terrorists. Together we won’t be beaten.

The book focuses on one of the main men, Azhari,  the way he was radicalised and how he founded, with other like minded men, ways to terrorise other human beings that dare not adhere to Sharia Law. Defeating Terror shows  how Azhari built bombs and coordinated attacks in Bali, and how ultimately through a massive shoot out, Azhari’s life came to an end. Craig calls him a villain mastermind, but I think that name sounds too good for someone like Azhari. It was surprising to read how quick Muslims and non Muslims can be talked into becoming JI and full fledged malevolent wolves. The outcome is always death, with no money going to families of suicide bombers it seems.

Defeating Terror touches on police corruption, the history of Islamic terrorism in South East Asia, and, just how police from Australia and Indonesia hunted these terrorists down. It’s comprehensive in its coverage, and includes colour photography and a run down of all the terrorists involved. Defeating Terror, is a glimpse into the abhorrent truth about Islamic terrorism in South East Asia,  and a reminder that there is no room for religious violence. Ever.

Defeating Terror: Behind the hunt for the Bali bombers is available now through Hardie Grant Books.