Graphic shows profile of radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir .
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TERRORISM

Indonesia’s Abu Bakar Bashir to be freed

By Duncan Mil

January 5, 2021 - January 8, 2021 - Indonesia’s top terrorist convict Abu Bakar Bashir will be released from prison on Friday (January 8). Bashir was the alleged mastermind of Indonesia’s deadliest terrorist attack -- the 2002 bombings of Bali nightclubs which killed 202 people.

The 82-year-old radical cleric has been in jail since his arrest in 2009. Bashir, a key figure in Jemaah Islamiah (JI), was previously jailed over the Bali bombings but released on appeal.

In 2011, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for funding a training camp for terrorists in Indonesia’s province of Acheh. Bashir’s time was cut due to periodic sentence reductions handed to most prisoners in Indonesia.

JI was involved in the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, which killed 12 people in August 2003.

In September 2004, a suicide car bomb outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta killed nine.

Suicide bombers attacked Bali again in October 2005, killing 23 people.

JI again attacks Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels in Jakarta in July 2009, killing eight people.

Two years ago, plans to grant the ageing Bashir early release on humanitarian grounds sparked a backlash in Indonesia and Australia -- dozens of Australians died in the Bali attacks.

PUBLISHED: 05/01/2021; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images
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