Abu Bakar Bashir, Indonesian cleric linked to deadly Bali bombings, free of prison

09 January, 2021
Indonesia’s radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who's linked to the deadly 2002 Bali bombings, was released from prison on Friday (Jan 8).

Bashir, 82, was jailed found in 2011 for his involvement in militant training camps found in Indonesia’s westernmost province Aceh. His 15-12 months sentence was cut short because of regular sentence reductions tied to very good behaviour and his deteriorating health and wellbeing.

The cleric is definitely the spiritual innovator of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), an extremist network associated with Al-Qaeda which was among others accused of orchestrating the 2002 Bali bombings killing a lot more than 200 people, mostly Australians.  

Prior to his release, his boy Abdul Rochim Bashir told CNA they have no ideas to carry a celebration just after his departure from Gunung Sindur prison on West Java province.

“There are no plans … We are simply likely to take him home, that’s it,” said the son who's also a cleric.

Photographs showed Bashir using a mask due to he still left the prison found in Bogor, before appearing driven to his residence in Central Java.

Bashir is likely to reside in his Islamic boarding school Islam Al Mukmin found in Ngruki, Central Java with his son.

Abu Bakar Bashir arrives in Sukoharjo around Solo in Central Java.

Bashir co-founded the institution in 1972, and he was first subsequently accused by the then Suharto regime of promoting a great Islamic state which isn't good state’s ideology.

He was sentenced to prison in the 1980s but were able to get away and fled to Malaysia.

In Malaysia, he create JI and is regarded as the spiritual leader of the group.

After Suharto’s fall in 1998, Bashir returned to Indonesia.

JI was regarded as behind the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings, the 2004 Australian embassy bombing in Jakarta, plus the 2003 and 2009 Jakarta JW Marriot hotel bombings.

The 2002 Bali bombings were Indonesia’s deadliest terrorist attack in its history.

Bashir was jailed found in 2004 for conspiracy above the 2002 Bali bombings and released in June 2006. He possesses repeatedly denied involvement in the 2002 bombing.

Upon his launching, he stayed associated with JI, while denying involvement in Al-Qaeda.

In 2008, he established a militant group called Jamaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), that was accused of having a militant training camp in Aceh. It was in this connection that Bashir was once again jailed in 2011 after getting convicted of establishing the camp and financing it.

While found in prison, Bashir pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) in 2014.

Last month, the Indonesian authorities arrested suspected leaders of JI, indicating that the group continues to be active.