Radical Indonesian cleric Bashir calls US, Australia ‘enemies of Allah’

Jakarta, June 16: Radical Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has accused Australia and the US of playing a major role in having him brought to court and tried on terror charges, and called both the nations 'enemies of Allah'.

"The trouble makers are these two, (Australia and America) the enemies of Allah. They try to eliminate me from Indonesia. Because they are the ones who started the crusade war, America, George Bush," the Courier Mail quoted Bashir, as saying.

"Until now Australia and America still have role in my case. That's clear," Bashir added.

The 72-year-old hardline cleric spoke freely in the court holding cells prior to the start of his verdict.

"Kill me if they can, if they can't, then just how to eliminate me from the society, because they think my struggle for Islam is dangerous," said Bashir.

"My trial is not regular trial, it is a battle against Islam. It is a battle between defenders of Islam and Musrik, the defenders of evil. I am an Islam defender," he said.

Bashir stands accused of providing funds to the so-called al-Qaeda in Aceh that was planning Mumbai-style attacks in Indonesia.

He has previously been linked to bin Laden through Jemaah Islamiah, the group responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings, of which he was the co-founder and spiritual leader.

Bashir served almost 26 months in prison for conspiracy over the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, but was later acquitted on appeal.

Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com