Militant Islamic cleric released from prison | india | Hindustan Times
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Militant Islamic cleric released from prison

Authorities released 68-year-old militant Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir from Indonesian prison on Wednesday.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2006 09:01 IST

Authorities released militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir from prison on Wednesday. About 150 of his supporters jubilantly greeted him shouting out 'God is great!

The 68-year-old cleric, an alleged key leader of the Al-Qaeda-linked Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, had served 26 months in prison for giving his blessing to the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, which killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists.

Bashir's supporters gathered at Jakarta's Cipinang prison for his release, which came about 45 minutes earlier than expected. ""God is great!" they shouted.

His release raises concerns among Indonesian officials that he could energize the country's small, Islamic radical fringe.

Bashir, who has maintained his innocence, plans to return to his school and retake his position at the head of his legal hardline Islamic organisation, the Council of Mujahedeen for Islamic Law Enforcement.