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Indonesia’s top terrorist convicted Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader of the Southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), is due to be released from prison on Friday, the Indonesian authorities said yesterday.
In 2011 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for funding a training camp for terrorists in the westernmost Indonesian province of Aceh.
Imam Suyudi, head of the Regional Office for Legal and Human Rights in West Java, said Bashir will be released from Gunung Sindur Prison in Bogor on Friday after serving his 15-year sentence with a 55-month suspended sentence.
« He served his sentence well and followed all rules and procedures, » Mr. Imam of Antara was quoted as saying.
Bashir’s legal team last year asked the government to prioritize him for early release along with other prisoners because of fears that a coronavirus could break out in prisons and cited his age as a factor.
Last April, Indonesia celebrated 30. 000 released who had served two-thirds of their sentences to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in its overcrowded prisons.
Bashir was the suspected thought leader of Indonesia’s deadliest terrorist attack – the 2002 bombings on the holiday island of Bali, in which 202 people were killed. He was never convicted of the attack.
In December 2018, the Indonesian cleric was offered an early release by the government on humanitarian grounds as his health deteriorated.
But it was on the condition that he first had to commit to the Republic of Indonesia and the state ideology of Pancasila, as is required of all reformed terrorists.
Separately, Indonesia’s national police spokesman Ahmad Ramadhan told reporters that the police would ensure security and order on the day of Bashir’s release.
« This is not just being done towards Abu Bakar Bashir. We have a special intelligence team that monitors those who have committed a crime, « he said.
In the past two months, 23 suspected terrorists have been arrested in various locations on Sumatra Island, including two men behind the Bali bombings – Taufik Bulaga aka Upik Lawanga and Aris Sumarsono aka Zulkarnaen.
And last July, a Jakarta court sentenced Para Wijayanto, the main leader of the al-Qaeda-affiliated JI, whom terrorists believe was Bashir’s student, to seven years in prison for recruiting and training militants and making donations gathers those who go to Syria.
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Bombings on Bali 2002, Indonesia, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, terrorism
World News – AU – JI leader Bashir will be released on Friday
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