An update on this story. Prosecutors sought a life sentence, and how much Bashir actually serves of a 15-year prison term in Indonesia will be anyone’s guess.
In the meantime, he will apparently be free to continue preaching from jail. His operations have not been put out of business, but essentially only relocated. “Indonesia jails cleric Abu Bakar Ba’asyir for 15 years,” from BBC News, June 16:
Indonesia has jailed radical cleric Abu Bakar Ba’asyir for 15 years, after he was convicted of supporting an Islamic militant training camp in Aceh.
And what a paradise of tolerance and moderation Aceh has become since Sharia was imposed.
The sentence was handed down amid tight security at court in Jakarta, where more than 3,000 police were on duty.
Ba’asyir, 72, was convicted of helping to organise a jihadi training camp that was planning to attack government targets and impose an Islamic state.
The aim of jihad in all its forms is to impose Islamic law.
He has been involved in radical Islamic groups in Indonesia for four decades.
Over the years, he has been repeatedly arrested, jailed and then released.
Prosecutors had asked for a life sentence for Ba’asyir, but the sentence is the longest he has yet received.
The BBC’s Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta says it is debatable whether the verdict will have much impact on the fight against terrorism in Indonesia.
Ba’asyir can continue to preach his message even from his prison cell, our correspondent says.
He was arrested by anti-terror police last August, months after the training camp in Aceh was raided by police.
The discovery of the camp has so far led to the arrests of more than 120 terrorism suspects over several months.
The Aceh camp drew together militants from several different jihadi groups.
Experts believe they were planning to form a militia to kill government officials, moderate Muslims and influential non-Muslims.
Ba’asyir has repeatedly said the allegations against him were “engineered by America”.
In previous cases, he has been convicted of conspiracy over the 2002 Bali bomb attacks, in which more than 200 people died….