Indonesia to probe Islamic school from cleric sentenced in Bali bombings
December 1, 2005
Indonesia to probe Bashir school
Indonesia will investigate a hardline Muslim boarding school founded by radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir as part of a crackdown on Islamic militancy following recent triple suicide bombings in Bali.
Police in Bali also said they would charge an extremist accused of being the right-hand man for fugitive terrorist Noordin Top with involvement in the October 1 attacks, meaning he will face a possible death penalty.
Indonesia's Religious Affairs Department said it would investigate the teachings of the Al Mukmin boarding school founded by Bashir near the town in Ngruki.
The school counts several of the original Bali bombers among its graduates, including death-row inmate Mukhlas.
Ministry officials would also investigate the Al Islam school in Lamongan, East Java, where so-called smiling assassin Amrozi taught.
"The investigation will be carried out by research and development division of the department," secretary general Faisal Ismail told the Kompas newspaper.
"This team will cooperate with an anti-terrorism team formed by the vice president (Jusuf Kalla)".
Indonesian has hardened its stance toward radicals since the latest Bali attacks and in a breakthrough for the government, senior clerics recently reversed their opposition and agreed to target militancy at the grassroots level.
Faisal said the investigation would also look at the books and teachings employed by the two schools, which have been accused of being terrorist nurseries in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
Meanwhile, police in Bali said they would charge a militant accused of being the courier and right hand man of Indonesia's most wanted man with involvement in the Bali attacks.
They said Dwi Widiyanto trained as a suicide bomber and knew all the operational details of the suicide attacks of three cafes in Kuta and Jimbaran Bay which killed 20 innocent people, among them four Australians.
"We found new evidence that he knows all the preparation for the attacks, and he was ready to be a suicide bomber," Bali police spokesman Colonel Antonius Reniban told AAP.
He said Dwi would be charged with Article Six of the country's tough anti-terrorism laws, covering participation in a terrorist strike.
"The maximum penalty is death," Reniban said.
Dwi, 31, was captured in the Central Java capital of Semarang following raids across Java in which Jemaah Islamiah master bombmaker Azahari Husin was shot dead and police narrowly missed his Malaysian countryman Noordin Top.
He was allegedly a courier for Noordin and escaped during a gunfight with police.
Dwi was captured a week ago after police surrounded him in front of a bookstore in Semarang, which is home to Indonesia's national police college and an Australian-funded anti-terrorist school.