Abu Bakar Ba’asyir
Posted by Exile on July 3, 2006
Abu Bakar Ba’asyir insists he is a simple Islamic teacher. He does not cut the terrifying figure expected of a man accused of being a leading figure in the murky world of international terrorism. He is a frail, 68-year-old man with a wispy beard, embroidered white skull cap and heavy glasses perched on his aquiline nose. But according to many people, both in Indonesia and abroad, Ba’asyir is or was the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), a shadowy group with links to al-Qaeda. He was accused of planning the assassination of Megawati Sukarnoputri, Indonesia’s former president.
Shortly afterwards he was charged in relation to both the Marriott attack and the Bali bombings, as well as a number of other offences.
In his second trial, judges said that while he had not been involved in the Bali attacks, he had given his approval. He was sentenced to 30 months in jail for being part of an “evil conspiracy”. Charges related to the Marriott attack were dismissed. He was released on 14 June 2006, having served 26 months in a Jakarta prison.
He insists he is just a simple preacher.
He says, “I support Osama Bin Laden’s struggle because his is the true struggle to uphold Islam, not terror – the terrorists are America and Israel”.
Born in 1938, in East Java, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir has spent decades teaching Islam, and become influential among radical Muslims in South East Asia.
His consistent theme has been that Islamic communities are the necessary pre-condition for setting up an Islamic state.
In addition to running the Solo Muslim school in Java, he also sat on the executive of the Mujahideen Council, which was formed in Yogyakarta in 2000 as an umbrella group for people wanting to turn Indonesia into an Islamic country. He has also called for Indonesia to declare a strict Sharia state.
And still insists he is just a simple preacher.
I found this today on Haaretz.com:
“Israel is the enemy of Allah,” militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir told hundreds of members of the Muslim-based Crescent Star Party in the capital Jakarta. “That is why Indonesia should send holy warriors there.”
Bashir, who recently completed a 26-month jail term for conspiracy in the 2002 Bali bombings that left 202 dead, spoke as Israel massed tanks and troops along Gaza’s northern border. That followed a weekend of escalating violence in Palestinian territories, triggered by the capture of an Israeli soldier.
The United States and Australia allege that Bashir is a key leader in the al-Qaida-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, blamed for a string of bloody bombings across Indonesia since 2000.
His release from prison last month raised concerns that he would energize Indonesia’s small, Islamic radical fringe by making impassioned speeches at rallies and mosques.
But he continues to insist he is just a simple preacher.
I don’t think so.
I think he is an evil old man who should be the next target for Mossad, or the CIA, or anyone else interested in world peace.
Let him go the same way as Al-Zarqawi. Kill him now.