Indonesia to Release Bali Bombing Convict Amid Security Fears

Indonesia is set to release the alleged mastermind of the deadly Bali bombings after his 15-year prison term ends Friday, raising concerns over possible security threats.

Abu Bakar Bashir was found guilty of funding an Islamic militant training camp and of links to the 2002 bombings that killed more than 200 people in Bali as well as the attack against the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2003.

The government must monitor the 82-year-old cleric who is notorious for his jihadist ideology, according to Stanislaus Riyanta, a Jakarta-based intelligence and terrorism analyst. However, “the security threat posed by Bashir won’t be as big as predicted because of his old age,” he added.

Indonesia to Release Bali Bombing Convict Amid Security Fears

Indonesia Bans Islamic Defenders Front Group on Security Threat

President Joko Widodo has pledged to intensify the fight against all acts that threaten the country’s sovereignty and security as he seeks to improve the investment climate. In 2018, the parliament approved a revision to the anti-terrorism law to let the police take preemptive action and detain people suspected of planning an attack.

At least three people linked to Bali bombings have been executed despite calls to stop the death penalty on concern the men would be painted as martyrs. Bashir, who was also convicted of treason for seeking to overthrow the government and set up an Islamic state, rejected a clemency offer from Jokowi in 2019 as it would require him to pledge loyalty to the state.

The police will undertake efforts to prevent security breaches linked to Bashir’s release, spokesman Rusdi Hartono said in a briefing this week, without giving detail on the plan.

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