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Indonesian authorities have released the cleric who gave his blessing to the bombings in Bali that took over 200 lives in 2002, mostly Australian tourists. Scores of Islamists greeted him enthusiastically at the gates as their spiritual leader:
Authorities released militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir from prison on Wednesday, and about 150 of his supporters jubilantly greeted him with shouts of "God is great!"
The 68-year-old cleric, an alleged key leader of the al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, had served 26 months in prison for giving his blessing to the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, which killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists.
Bashir's supporters gathered at Jakarta's Cipinang prison for his release, which came about 45 minutes earlier than expected. "God is great!" they shouted.
Bashir has maintained his innocence of the charges, but an Indonesian court found him guilty of the crime. In a sentence that sent the message that Indonesia hasn't taken terrorism seriously, he received only thirty months for his part in the deaths of 202 people. Even worse, Indonesia then reduced the sentence almost by half, which has led to his release today.
If Indonesia thought that they could pacify the Islamist impulse through a show of mercy, they will find themselves very much mistaken. That is as true now as when they gave Bashir the unbelievably light sentence for one of the worst terrorist attacks in that region's history. This will be akin to waving a red flag in front of a bull, and we can expect the Islamists in Indonesia to build on this momentum.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» Indonesia Releases Militant Islamic Cleric from Morning Coffee
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Authorities released militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir from prison on Wednesday, and about 150 of his supporters jubilantly greeted him with shouts of “God is great!” The 68-year-old cleric, an alleged key lea... [Read More]
Tracked on June 13, 2006 10:13 PM
» The Release Of The Beast from Liberty and Justice
In every other country that's serious in fighting terrorism this man would not see the sun with his own eyes for years and years, but the world's largest Islamic country tries to pacify this brutal man. This release will only encourage his followers... [Read More]
Tracked on June 14, 2006 6:25 AM
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