Mukhlas was born on 2 February 1960 in Solokuro, Lamongan, East Java, Indonesia. He was the brother of Amrozi, and the two attended al-Mukmin Islamic School. Mukhlas joined the Mujahideen in the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s, fighting with Osama bin Laden's "International Brigade" between 1980 and 1989 in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. He nurtured ties with Bin Laden, and he secured funding for the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 innocent civilians in attacks focused on nightclubs and a United States consulate. He was arrested for this attack, and on 9 November 2008 Mukhlas, Imam Samudra, and Amrozi were executed by firing squad.