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Guantanamo detainee Hambali is the mastermind of the Bali massacre and the attack against Christians

ICC Note:

“He is being accused by two former militants of Jemaah Islamiah, sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in attacks on churches in 2000. The country is facing the problem of where he should be sent: his return home would strengthen the fundamentalist wing of the country, which considers him a “hero” because of his years in Guantanamo.”

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3/10/09 Indonesia (AsiaNews) Riduan “Hambali” Isamudin is the mastermind who planned the massacre in Bali in 2002, and the attacks against Christian churches and buildings in 2000.

In 2000, a coordinated series of bombs exploded in six different provinces, killing 19 people in the period before Christmas. They avoided the death penalty by demonstrating “remorse,” and cooperating with security forces to shed light on the attacks. “Hambali brainwashed our mind to stage a jihad war against non-Islam followers,” Imron says.

The accusations issued by the two former jihadists and the possible closing of the Guantanamo detention center raise a serious problem for Indonesian authorities: should Hambali return to the country, or is it preferable for him to remain in a foreign nation? It is not an insignificant question: on the one hand, his return would provide investigators with the possibility of interrogating him; he could also clarify his relationship with the religious fundamentalist Abu Bakar Baasyir, head of JI in southeast Asia. On the other hand, it could create a substantial security problem: the fact that he spent many years in the Cuban prison could elevate him to the status of “martyr” in the fight against the West. ““If Hambali returns back to Indonesia, he’s certainly becoming a hero,” says a police official. “He served in Guantanamo. He’ll be a rock star. That’s why, it’s preferable for us that he is kept in the United States.”

Anonymous police sources say that last February, a group of experts in Indonesia’s anti-terrorism department met with Hambali in Guantanamo. The terrorist, who was in good health, is said to have confessed his involvement in the bombing attacks on the churches.

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