Al Qaeda-linked Cleric Wants to Run For President in Indonesia

Jemaah Islamiyah spiritual Leader Abu Bakar Bashir, 68, was jailed for only 26 months for conspiracy for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Now Bashir wants to be President of Indonesia.
ADN Kronos reported

Abu Bakar Bashir, the radical Muslim cleric who is spiritual leader of the al-Qaeda-linked militant group, Jemaah Islamiyah, is considering running for president in the 2009 elections. Fauzan Al Anshori, the spokesperson for Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI), an organisation made up of groups fighting for Islamic law or Sharia in Indonesia, told Adnkronos International (AKI), that “Bashir is considering the possibility.” “He said that he wants to see what the people say first,” Al Anshori told AKI.

Bashir, who is in his late 60s, was released from prison in 2006 after serving less than 26 months in Jakarta’s Cipinang penitentiary for conspiracy in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people and thrust Indonesia onto the front lines of the war on terror. Bashir has consistently denied any connection to that or other attacks blamed on the Southeast Asian militant group, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) whose objective is the creation of an Islamic ‘caliphate’ in the region.

The MMI spokesperson said that Bashir first had the idea of running in the 2009 presidential election after the scandal involving illegal funds in the 2004 electoral campaign first emerged. The scandal, which was made public a few weeks ago, appears to involve all the candidates in the election, including Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“There is so much corruption everywhere and we need clean people to lead the country,” said Al Anshori.

Clean people without links to Al-Qaeda, preferably.

Abu Bakar Bashir also believes that sharia will be imposed when Muslims become the majority in Australia.

Abu Bakar Bashir wants to see what the people say first before he makes it official.


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