Abu Bakar Bashir
Abu Baker Bashir is also known as Ustad Abu and as Abdus Somand. To an Al Jazeera reporter he announced that the Bali night club bombers were not terrorists. He said that their intentions were to defend Islam. (see the clip on YouTube). He was born in 1938. He directs the Indonesian Mujahedeen Council and runs a boarding school in Central Java. His school trains pupils for promoting violent jihad to "defend" Islam and spread sharia law. He says, "We teach that jihad is the ultimate good deed that redeems someone and gives them great religious reward." Some of his students aspire to be like Bin Laden. Some of his school's graduates have bombed hotels and restaurants throughout Indonesia. For his ideas, he has spent time in exile in Singapore and Malaysia. For conspiracy in the Bali bombings, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison starting in 2011.
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