INDONESIA: Police deploy 2000 personnel to secure Muslim cleric terrorism trial

The terrorism trial of a Muslim cleric who regularly praises Al-qaeda’s brand of global jihad opened in Indonesia Thursday amid high security and a surge in sectarian violence that has left three dead.

FocusUK — The world’s most populous Muslim-majority country  is still in shock after the gruesome lynching of three members of a minority Islamic sect by an enraged Muslim mob on Sunday. Two days later another mob of Islamic extremists launched an anti-Christian rampage through the streets of Temanggung, also on the main island of Java in some of the worst religious violence the country has seen for years.

Wearing his customary white robes and religious garb, a grinning Bashir entered the courtroom to chants of “jihad” (holy war) and “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) from his followers. “I’m fine prophet Mohammed was also like me,” he told reporters. He faces charges of training militants–who may be linked to the 2002 bombings in Bali. Bashir is spiritual leader of outlawed Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiah.

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