Bashir’s Aceh Camp Start of Islamic State: Prosecutors

By webadmin on 12:16 pm Feb 14, 2011
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Heru Andriyanto

Prosecutors on Monday told a Jakarta courtroom of how firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Bashir envisioned the establishment of an Islamic state by all means necessary, including through terror and heists, starting with a paramilitary training camp in Aceh.

Sometime in July 2009, Bashir told his followers that “before waging jihad, we must first occupy a territory, albeit small, and gain full control of it,” a prosecutor said as he read the 250-page indictment against the hard-line cleric at the South Jakarta District Court.

The defendant was also accused of inciting followers by providing the rationale for heists and murders: the need to seek funds for jihad, known as “fa’i”, as well as carrying out acts of terror against infidels.

“The defendant said … fa’i is directed against infidels and the governments who observe Islam but do not apply Islamic sharia,” prosecutor Muhammad Taufik said.

To establish an Islamic state, Bashir recommended terror attacks using the same weapons of the enemies, including rifles and bombs, he said.

“The purpose of the terror is to spread panic and to divide the people and the ruling government, thus paving the way for a takeover,” he said.

The indictment said Bashir approved the plan by fellow militants Dulmatin, Ubaid and Abu Tholut to conduct a survey in Aceh in their search for a homebase, and provided an initial fund of Rp 15 million for this purpose.

The 72-year-old cleric was also accused of approaching potential donors for the Aceh camp and collecting at least Rp 1 billion to buy weapons and ammunitions and to finance the Aceh camp.

“The weapons were used by participants of the paramilitary training to attack police officers in several public places… and to carry out heists at the Newnet internet cafe and CIMB bank in Medan,” the indictment said.

The cleric is charged with multiple counts of terrorism, including “mobilizing people for the acts of terror” that carries the death sentence.

The hearing was adjourned for Thursday for the preliminary defense.