Abu Bakar Bashir: Indonesia releases alleged Bali attack mastermind

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In 2011, Bashir was jailed for his ties to militant training camps in the province of Aceh.

Indonesia will release Abu Bakar Bashir from prison later this week, the radical cleric and alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings, the government announced on Monday. Bashir, aged 82, is among the most infamous extremists in Indonesia and is considered the spiritual leader of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) network connected to al-Qaeda. Rika Aprianti, spokeswoman for the Directorate General of Corrections at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, said in a statement that he was imprisoned in 2011 for his ties to militant training camps in Aceh province. Bashir will be released on Friday “in accordance with the expiration date and the end of his term,” Australia refuses Indonesian radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir’s appeal of clemencyRead moreJemaah Islamiah is accused of planning several major attacks in Indonesia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and southern Philippines-trained operatives. Its members are accused of orchestrating the bombings in Bali in 2002, which killed more than 200 people, including many Australians, and the attack on Jakarta’s JW Marriott Hotel, which killed 12 people a year later. A senior JI activist believed to have designed the explosives for both attacks, Zulkarnaen, is one of twenty-three alleged militants arrested last month.

Bashir’s attorney did not respond immediately to Reuters’ request for comment on his pending release. Security analyst Ridlwan Habib said that while the stature of Bashir has diminished, extremists may attempt to connect their activities to him in order to gain momentum and increase their credibility. Bashir is a high-profile figure in the jihadist movement in Indonesia, and it is not impossible to use his big name,”Bashir is a high-profile figure in Indonesia’s jihadist movement, and it is not impossible that his big name could be used,”

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