Bashir: Osama a ‘hero’

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“The American accusations are pure allegations,” Bashir, 65, said from prison in an interview for today’s edition of the magazine, which is published in London.

Bashir denied engaging in “terrorist activities” or being the head of the al-Qa’ida-linked Jemaah Islamiah terror group.

He also described bin Laden as “a hero of Islam” and US President George W. Bush and the American army as “henchmen of the devil”.

Indonesian legal authorities announced last Friday that Bashir had been formally named a terrorism suspect, putting his scheduled release from prison on April30 in doubt.

Police say they have enough to charge him for a string of terror attacks, including the October 12, 2002, bombings in Bali that killed 202 people.