Sid Harta Publishers
The inside story of the Bali bombing and Moluccan bloodbath
Cresent Moon Rising
By Kerry B Collison
Sid Harta Publishers, Australia
Available at Asia Books
Reviewed by Jim Pollard
"CRESENT Moon Rising" looks at the rise of extremist
Islamic militancy across Southeast Asia, and the
missed opportunities of western intelligence agencies
to prevent the Bali bombings.
This book is described as a fact-based political
thriller. It's the latest novel by Australian author
Kerry Collison, who was based for many years in
Indonesia - where this, his eight book, is also set.
Collison, reportedly a former intelligence agent,
has used his knowledge of the huge sprawling nation -
plus satellite eavesdropping technology and the like -
devious machinations behind the appalling wave of
racial killings in the Moluccas, in the east of the
Indonesia archipelago a few years ago, and the lead-up
to the initial Bali bombing in October 2002.
"Cresent Moon Rising" is fast-paced, and a quick
enjoyable read. It covers ground that many will be
familiar with and makes some interesting points.
One of the more disturbing is the suggestion that
American intelligence chiefs realized a major attack
was about to occur just before the Bali bombing -
which prompted them to withdraw their troops from
But they failed to alert their allies Down Under.
The inference that Collison makes is that Washington
wanted Canberra and the Australian public to suffer
their own September 11 so they would be willing allies
in the "war against terror".
Hambali, Amrosi, and key terrorists alleged to have
been involved in the Bali bombs and the terrifying
bloodshed in the Moluccas in the years leading up to
2002 are all named and play out sinister roles.
More disturbing is the evil schemes of rogue
Indonesian military generals. With Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono taking over from the hopeless Megawati,
Jakarta appears to be slowly getting its act together.
He's been a breath of fresh air in a region packed
with good leaders are few and far between.
But this book is set in the era preceding SBY, when
the generals stirred up religious hatred, mobilizing
fanatical groups such as the Laskar Jihad to run amok
in the the country's eastern isles.
Fiction or faction, it's fascinating nonetheless.
At a time when Australians are wavering in support of a proposed US led invasion of Iraq, more than six hundred US Marines rotating on R & R in Bali suddenly disappear; then, Kuta erupts in a fireball and Australia falls into line with America. Read more about “Crescent Moon Rising - The Bali Bombings”