News analysis

No guarantees radical cleric won't return to old ways

JAKARTA - Radical Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has long refused to recognise the legitimacy of the Indonesian government, and was renowned for his scathing criticisms of Muslim world leaders.

Yet, the ideological godfather of the disbanded Jemaah Islamiah (JI), which was the terrorist group behind the 2002 Bali bombings and other terror plots across South-east Asia at the turn of the millennium, will in days owe his freedom to one such leader.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 20, 2019, with the headline 'No guarantees radical cleric won't return to old ways'. Print Edition | Subscribe