Radical Indonesia preacher keeps mum over terror allegations
Thu, Aug 12, 2010

JAKARTA - Indonesian radical Islamist preacher Abu Bakar Bashir remained tight-lipped over his alleged role in terror plots with Al-Qaeda-linked militants three days after his arrest, police said Thursday.

The 71-year-old refused to answer to police questions about his alleged involvement in financing, managing and plotting a series of car bomb attacks on at embassies, international hotels and the police headquarters in Jakarta.

"Even though we repeatedly asked him to give us information, he insisted he would only provide details in court," national police spokesman Edward Aritonang told a news conference.

He said Bashir considered police investigators as the acolytes of Israel and the United States, which he considered to be infidels.

"According to him, answering to the investigators' questions means that he cooperates with the infidels," Aritonang said.

Despite Bashir's silence, police said they found solid evidence to link the firebrand cleric to terrorism. The possible charges could see him face the death penalty.

Police said earlier that the evidence includes testimonies, bank records, video footage and recorded conversations linking Bashir to an extremist training camp discovered in Aceh province in February.

The new terror cell was formed under the leadership of Dulmatin, who was considered one of the masterminds of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing, and who was killed in March after the discovery of the training camp, Aritonang said.

Support for Bashir from his followers has sprouted on the Internet, calling for his freedom. A website dedicated to him was created earlier this week and a social networking website Facebook has gathered close to 11,000 supporters.


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