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Indonesia Terror Suspect Says He's Framed

A radical Islamic cleric accused of heading an al-Qaida-linked terror network in Asia wept in court Thursday as he accused the Indonesian government of framing him on charges of treason and plotting to assassinate its president. With tears in his eyes, Abu Bakar Bashir denied any wrongdoing and said authorities in neighboring Singapore and Malaysia had tortured witnesses to testify against him. The 64-year-old cleric Thursday was responding to a prosecution request that he be jailed for a maximum 15 years. Bashir is considered the spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah, which is blamed for a string of atrocities in Southeast Asia, including last year’s Bali bombing and this month’s suicide attack on the Jakarta’s JW Marriott Hotel. Bashir, who ran a religious boarding school in Central Java, was arrested in the aftermath of the Oct. 12 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. He has not been charged with involvement in that attack or the Aug 5 Marriott bombing that killed 12 people. Full Story

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