Thrash infidel Australian tourists, says radical Indonesian cleric

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Melbourne, Mar.24 : Radical Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has called on his followers to beat up Western, and especially Australian tourists whom he described as infidels.

In the sermon, organised by an Islamic youth organisation, Persatuan Pemuda Islam Pantura (Java North Coast Islamic Youth Group), and delivered a few kilometres from the home village of convicted Bali bombers Amrozi and Mukhlas, Bashir likened tourists in Bali to "worms, snakes, maggots", and specifically referred to the immorality of Australian infidels.

According to new.com.au., an Australian university student, Nathan Franklin, who was conducting research at Islamic boarding schools in east Java, caught the sermon on video.

Observers said the sermon's content was a clear indication of what many terrorism academics have noted - that the accused spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiah has been emboldened by his release from prison last year after serving 26 months for conspiracy in relation to the Bali blasts.

Rohan Gunaratna, the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, said Bashir's remarks indicated that he has gone back to the pre-incarceration period where he was urging JI members to move in the direction of violence.

The cleric has warned of retribution should the Bali bombers be executed by firing squad.

ANI

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