Jailed militant cleric accuses George Bush of waging war against all Muslims

An Indonesian militant cleric jailed in connection with the 2002 Bali bombings called U.S. President George W. Bush evil Friday, saying he has waged a futile war against all Muslims by labeling them terrorists.

"Bush is the great devil," Abu Bakar Bashir, who is accused of being the spiritual leader of the al-Qaida-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, told The Associated Press from his prison cell.

Bashir, known for strong anti-Western and anti-Semitic views, is due to be released from jail in June after serving 30 months behind bars.

He has denied any involvement in terrorism and said Friday he was against all forms of violence.

"Bush has waged a war against Islam by labeling Muslims as terrorists," said Bashir, who was wearing a long-flowing white Muslim robe. "But Islam will not lose. Bush will lose."

Jemaah Islamiyah is accused of carrying out the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, bombings in the Indonesian capital in 2003 and 2004 that together killed 21 people, and a triple suicide bombing on Bali last October that killed 20, reports the AP.

D.M.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team