Terrorist taunts Bali kin: Convert!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Current News - Homefront Preparations : One Thread
TERRORIST TAUNTS BALI KIN: CONVERT! By ANDY GELLER PHOTO ABU BAKAR BASHIR Evil schemer in hospital.
October 19, 2002 -- The radical cleric suspected of masterminding the horrific Bali blast has a cruel and unthinkable message for relatives who lost loved ones - convert to Islam.
Abu Bakar Bashir, the leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah group, says he is also praying for the safety of terror master Osama bin Laden.
Jemaah Islamiyah is suspected of planting the car bomb that exploded in the Bali nightclub district on Saturday, killing 183 people and injuring more than 300.
Asked if he had anything to say to the families who lost relatives in the blast, the 64-year-old Bashir said: "My message to the families is please convert to Islam as soon as possible."
By converting to Islam, he claimed, the families could avoid the fate of non-Muslims who died and went to hell.
Bashir had an even more ominous message for Australia, where most of the nightclub victims came from.
"The second message is for Australia because you suffered the most: Please advise your government not to follow the U.S. policy because it will bring tragedy for your country," he said.
Police in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, had planned to interview Bashir today about a series of church bombings on Christmas Eve 2000.
But he managed to delay the questioning by checking into a hospital in his hometown of Solo, 250 miles southeast of the capital. An aide said he looked pale and could have been suffering from asthma or exhaustion.
Before entering the hospital, Bashir led 300 followers in a defiant service during which he prayed for bin Laden, whom he has often praised in the past.
The cleric also accused the United States of inventing both al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah in order to portray Muslims as terrorists.
Bashir made the same allegations in an interview earlier - and accused the United States of responsibility for the car bombing.
"I think the bomb was done by foreign intelligence, especially U.S. intelligence," he said. "The indications are Americans and Jews did it to justify the claims that Indonesia is a terrorist haven. What they mean by terrorists is Muslims. So to prove their theory they created the incident in Bali."
Pressed as to who might actually have carried out the bombing, he replied, "It's possible Americans hired Indonesians. My understanding is Americans hired Indonesians."
Bashir refused to condemn the attack, saying, nightclubs "will be banned if we have Islamist government."
-- Anonymous, October 19, 2002