Jakarta: Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a trial on charges of sanctioning and funding a jihadi training camp that brought together terrorists from almost every known Indonesian extremist group.
Arrested militants testified during the trial that Bashir watched a video of the Aceh military training and received written reports meant to assure him that all the funds he had raised were being used for jihad.
Bashir denied involvement but repeatedly defended the camp as legal under Islam. He told reporters before the verdict that the trial was an attempt by the US and Australia “to eliminate me from Indonesia.”
The sentence was announced amid high security at a Jakarta court where hundreds of hard-line Bashir supporters gathered, some carrying small placards emblazoned with “Don’t play around, free Abu Bakar Bashir.”