Indonesia frees cleric linked to Bali bombing

JAKARTA (AFP) – A radical cleric linked to the Bali bombings was freed from prison yesterday, stirring grief and anger among victims nearly two decades after more than 200 people, mostly foreign tourists, were killed in Indonesia’s worst terror attack.

Abu Bakar Bashir, 82, is seen as the spiritual leader of extremist terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which was responsible for the massive blasts that ripped through entertainment venues in October 2002.

The firebrand preacher was released after completing an unrelated jail term for helping fund militant training. But he has long been suspected of involvement in the horrific holiday island bombings, which came just a year after the 9/11 attacks on the United States (US).

More details on Weekend’s Borneo Bulletin