Indonesia: cleric sentenced to 15 years in prison on terror conviction

Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir was sentenced June 15 to 15 years in prison for his involvement with a terrorist training camp in the province of Aceh to prepare Islamic radicals to carry out attacks in Jakarta. Prosecutors said Bashir provided more than $62,000 to the group, which was allegedly planning attacks modeled after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and targeting high-profile members of the Indonesian government. Bashir was found guilty of inciting terrorism. He was not convicted, however, of funding terrorist activities because there was not enough evidence to prove Bashir’s money contributed to purchasing guns for use at the training camp. The 72-year-old said he would appeal the sentence because it ignores Sharia law.

Bashir’s trial began in February in the District Court of South Jakarta. He was suspected of links to al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah, a terrorist group with links to al-Qaeda that has been implicated in a number of attacks in Indonesia, including the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing that left more than 200 people dead. In 2006, the Indonesian Supreme Court overturned Bashir’s conviction on conspiracy charges connecting him with the bombings. He was released from prison earlier in 2006 after spending 26 months in jail on different charges related to the bombings.

From Jurist, June 16. Used with permission.

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