Indonesia to Bar Entry of Terrorist Convict Hambali
Jakarta, 03 Jumadil Akhir 1437/12 March 2016 (MINA) – Indonesia will reject Hambali, one of the most notorious terrorists from the country, if he intends to return home from Guantanamo Bay prison which is on the verge of being shut down.
“Clearly, we don’t want to add more problems. Even America does not want him to return to us,” Indonesian Chief Security Minister Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters here Friday.
Hambali, the former operations chief of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), may be repatriated if U.S. President Barack Obama succeeds in closing the detention facility in Cuba, Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) reported, quoting Xinhua.
The plan to close the center was announced by Obama on February 23.
Luhut said the Indonesian government had every right to deny Hambali’s citizenship because the terrorist convict, often described as Osama bin Laden of Southeast Asia, was reportedly holding a Spanish passport when he was apprehended by Thai police in October 2003.
Hambali, who is among three prisoners from Southeast Asia at the facility, has been under extrajudicial detention status since 2006 for leading various bomb attacks, including the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing which killed 202 people.
Indonesia, still recovering from the terrorist attacks in its capital on January 14, is in the middle of reviewing its anti-terrorism law, introduced in 2003 following the bombings in Bali.
Proposed revisions under discussion by lawmakers include revoking the citizenship and barring entry of any Indonesian who engages in terrorism activities abroad. The government expects to pass the final draft in the middle of this year. (R07/R01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)