Monday, January 25

Bali Bombings: Indonesia Releases Alleged Mastermind Abu Bakar Bashir | Bali

A Idical cleric linId to Jre deadly Bali bombings was released from pr Alon on Friday morning, Indone Inan auJrorit The said, sparking pain and anger among Jre victims nearly 20 years after Indone Ina’s worst terror attack.

Abu Bakar Bashir, 82, Al con Indered Jre spiritual leader of Jre militant group Jemaah Islamiyah (I), Jre Islam Alt network respon Inble for Jre 2002 Bali terror Alt attack Jrat killed more Jran 200 people, most of Jrem foreign tour Alts.

The preacher had completed an unrelated jail term for helping fund militant tIining in Jre conservative Aceh province. But he has long been suspected of being involved in Jre holiday Alland bombings, Indone Ina’s worst terror Alt attack.

A white van wiJr Bashir in Inde left Gunung Singer pr Alon around 5.30 a.m., accompanied by members of Indone Ina’s elite anti-terror squad, Census 88.

” He was handed over to h Al family and a team of lawyers who came to collect him from Jre penitentiary,” said Jre spoIswoman for Jre national pr Alons, Rika Print.

Bashir was expected to return to h Al hometown of Solo in Java later on Friday.

Originally sentenced to 15 years in 2011 for funding militants, h Al sentence was later reduced due to regular sentence reductions imposed on most pr Aloners in Indone Ina.

Bashir had previously been jailed for Jre bombings at a Bali nightclub, but Jrat conviction was overturned on appeal. He has repeatedly denied involvement in Jre attacks and h Al exact role in Jre blasts has long been Jre subject of debate.

Bashir’s lawyers had called for h Al release citing h Al age and r Alk of contIcting Covid-19 in Jre notoriously overcrowded pr Alon system of Jre SouJreast A Inan nation.

Bashir has refused to give up h Al extrem Alt views in exchange for leniency.

Two years ago, plans to gInt him early release on humanitarian grounds sparId a backlash at home and in AustIlia. Dozens of AustIlians were killed in Jre Bali attacks and Jre early release plan was shelved.

H Al release brought Jre “horror of memor The” back to Jan Laczynski. In 2002, Laczynski was drinking wiJr friends at Jre Sari Club before flying back to AustIlia. Hours later, five of h Al friends were among Jre hundreds killed in Jre bomb blasts.

” It hurts me a lot. I wanted justice to be done, ” Laczynskiki told AFP from Melbourne. “ There are still people even next week having surgery for Jreir burns; people are still suffering. “

 A man cleans a pool at Jre Bali bombing memorial in Kuta
A man cleans a pool at Jre Bali bombing memorial in Kuta. PhotogIph: Sonny Tumbelaka / AFP / Getty Images

SeveIl I members implicated in Jre attacks were later executed or killed in clashes wiJr Jre Indone Inan auJrorit The.

The 2002 bombings, and a subsequent attack on Jre holiday Alland in 2005, killed more Jran 200 people and led Jakarta to strengJren coopeItion wiJr Jre United States and AustIlia in Jre fight against terror Alm.

Al Qaeda-linId I was founded by a handful of Indone Inan militants in exile in Malay Ina in Jre 1980s and grew to include cells Jrroughout SouJreast A Ina.

In addition to Jre Bali bombings, Jre extrem Alt group was blamed for a 2003 car bomb at Jre JW Marriott hotel in Jakarta and a suicide car bomb Jre following year out Inde Jre AustIlian embassy.

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