Until Muslim groups worldwide face up to the involvement of “Islamic teachers” in terrorist acts, and do something to prevent it, military actions will not win a decisive or lasting victory in the war on terror. From Reuters:
An Indonesian court on Wednesday sentenced an Islamic teacher, believed to have been a leader of the most feared militant group in South-east Asia, to three years in jail for hiding one of the Bali bombers.
Abu Rusydan, who is believed by authorities to have taken over cleric Abu Bakar Bashir’s role as leader of the shadowy Jemaah Islamiah (JI) group six months before the deadly 2002 Bali bombings, was found guilty of involvement in acts of terror.
Prosecutors had asked for nine years in jail for Rusydan.
“The defendant has been proven guilty of purposely carrying out acts of terror by giving leeway to a terror suspect and hiding information on a terror crime,” Judge Machmud Rochimi told the South Jakarta court.
About 200 supporters of the 43-year-old Central Java religious teacher chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) after the verdict was read out and punched their fists in the air.
Rusydan was charged with hiding Mukhlas, top controller of the Bali blast operation, while he was on the run from the police.
Prosecutors had told the court Rusydan led a meeting a few days after the blast that killed 202 people and a participant heard Mukhlas say “the perpetrators of the Bali bombings were us”.
Prosecutors say Rusydan became JI caretaker after Bashir took over leadership of the Indonesian Mujahidin Council, a hardline Islamic group advocating full implementation of Islamic sharia law in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.
Rusydan has admitted he led the meeting and helped Bashir but has denied he had anything to do with a terror organisation.
About 30 people, including many accused of being JI members, have been convicted for their role in the Bali attacks, the worst since the September 11 strikes on the United States.
Three, including Mukhlas, have been sentenced to death.
A separate Jakarta court in September found Bashir guilty of treason and sentenced him to four years, but said accusations he was JI’s chief were unproven. A higher court later acquitted Bashir of treason and reduced his jail term to three years.