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Radical Indonesian cleric convicted of inciting terrorism

The AP reports from JAKARTA, Indonesia

 The Indonesian Muslim cleric known as spiritual leader of the militants who carried out the deadly 2002 Bali bombings was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison for his role in supporting a militant camp uncovered last year.

Abu Bakar Bashir's conviction for incitement of terrorism followed two unsuccessful attempts by prosecutors over the past eight years to link him to terror activities, including a conviction that was later overturned in the Bali attacks that killed 202 people. The lengthy sentence against Bashir, now 72, suggests Indonesia's continuing resolve to tackle its deadly extremist movement.

The verdict was announced amid high security at a Jakarta court where hundreds of Bashir supporters gathered, some with placards saying "Free Abu Bakar Bashir." Nearly 3,200 police and soldiers secured the area after bomb threats spread through Twitter and text messages. Continue reading.

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Radical Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir (sitting center, back to camera) listens to the judges' verdict as he is convicted by a court in Jakarta on terrorism charges on June 16.

Dimas Ardian / Getty Images

Abu Bakar Bashir is seen behind bars before his hearing verdict at the South Jakarta District Court on June 16.

Dimas Ardian / Getty Images

Supporters of Abu Bakar Bashir pray outside court as he is sentenced on June 16.