RealNews

Security Tight as Indonesian Cleric Tried for Treason

Indonesia put a preacher suspected of leading a violent Southeast Asian Islamic network on trial for treason on Wednesday, a landmark case in the crackdown on radicals in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Prosecutors described bomb plots and assassination plans at the trial of Abu Bakar Bashir, which is being held in a government agency building in the capital, Jakarta. Water cannon were at the ready outside and scores of police stood guard. The hearing was later adjourned until April 30. Spectators were searched before entering the building and again before entering the hall, doubling as a courtroom, where a smiling Bashir, a frail 64 year old, was greeted by shouts of “Allahu Akbar (God is greatest).” The bearded Bashir wore a white Muslim cap, red shawl and a white shirt. Some supporters were all in white and others in black with slogans such as “Mujahidin” and “I am proud to be the defender of sharia Islam” written on their clothes. The trial is a test for the government of secular-minded President Megawati Sukarnoputri as she walks a tightrope between a tough position against terror and persuading the nation’s Muslim masses that the effort does not target Islam. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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