Abu Bakar Baasyir’s Islamic Association declared "terrorist group"
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The U.S. State Department has issued an official statement stating that the Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT) is a terrorist group. The organization was founded by radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Baasyir currently in prison accused of involvement in terrorist operations in Indonesia. Some representatives of the JAT have responded by claiming to be surprised by the fact that Washington should make negative statements about the radical Islamic organizations in Indonesia. "This accusation has no foundation," said the spokesman Son Hadi bin Muhadjir.
Son Hadi said: " That blaming has once again reaffirms Washington's interest to foster their political hegemony in Indonesia. We have no connection to any terrorist act, let alone attacks with explosives." Together with two other senior members, Son Hadi was appointed as a "notorious person" with whom American citizens are advised to have no contact or business or financial dealings. The State Department, according to inside sources, accuses JAT of attempts to establish an Islamic state of Indonesia, and of using every type of violent method to achieve this end.
Previously, the anti-terror unit of the Indonesian police released statements that many young jihadist militants are closely connected with the JAT, and even the controversial founder Abu Bakar Baasyir had appointed some of them as potential martyrs of a violent struggle. Both Abu Bakar's his followers in JAT deny the police accusations.
The son of Abu Bakar, Abdul Rochim Baasyir, also known as Lim, is also named as not eligible person with who any American citizen may deal any financial transaction. "This accusation is baseless," said Jim. In the same situation is the operational head of JAT Achwan Mohamad. According to JAT leaders, the State Department declaration is a political maneuver by the U.S. to "interfere" in the internal affairs of Indonesia, and in particular the judicial situation of Abu Bakar, who is to present an appeal to the Supreme Court. In June 2011 Abu Bakar Baasyr was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison for his involvement in paramilitary projects in Aceh. Baasyr, 73, has denied his involvement in paramilitary training, saying that in reality they are "rituals," and not acts of terrorism. The first sentence of 15 years was reduced to nine years by the High Court of Jakarta. In November 2011 he made another appeal request to the Indonesian Supreme Court. The Judicial Commission of Indonesia has sent a strong message to the family of Baasyr, requesting they avoid fomenting negative feelings toward the judges of the Supreme Court who will consider his request.