SUKOHARJO, Indonesia: Indonesian Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, the suspected mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, walked free from prison on Friday after serving 10 years for setting up a militant training camp.
Authorities said Bashir, 82, who was never convicted of a direct role in the bombings, would enter a deradicalisation programme amid concerns over his continued influence in extremist circles.
Photographs showed him dressed in white and wearing a mask as he left the prison in Bogor, south of the capital Jakarta, before being driven to his home at an Islamic boarding school near the city of Solo in Central Java.
“Abu Bakar Bashir was released from Gunung Sindur prison at 5.30 a.m.,” Rika Aprianti, a spokeswoman for the corrections department, told reporters.
Bashir, 82, who is regarded as the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), a jihadist network with ties to al Qaeda, was imprisoned in 2011 for 15 years for his links to a militant…