Abu Bakar Bashir: Valentine’s Day Darling

Abu Bakar Bashir

Legendary war correspondent Sheikh Ya’erbuti has devoted this year’s Darling of the Year Award to Jemaah Islamiyah’s spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir.

“Bashir’s ability to avoid the death penalty and force journalists to use the word alleged when name dropping him with terrorist activities makes this wily 72-year-old cleric a no brainer for this year’s award,” said Ya’erbuti.

Bashir is back before the courts on seven counts of terrorism related to a paramilitary training camp in Aceh and he could still get the death penalty if found guilty, which may well wipe the smile of the faces of his supporters at next year’s awards.

But Bashir’s lawyer will argue that many of the indictments were lies, perhaps not all.

The award was the second in the series. Noordin Mohammad Top won the inaugural Valentine’s Day prize posthumously in 2010 after he was gunned down by Indonesian authorities following an international man hunt and a very merry dance.

An autopsy revealed Noordin was sodomized, and often.

Ya’erbuti said while receiving Valentine’s Day wishes from his legions of fans. “Most of the region’s terrorists are in jail, dead or are sunning themselves on the beaches of Mindanao. The fact that this man is still among us deserves a merit badge.”

As always Ya-erbuti looked elegant in white and was flanked by his support crew, including the ever-loyal man-servant Waqil (EDS: ONE NAME), Ya’erbuti added that Bashir would always be remembered for what he was – a spiritual darling — and a difficult act to follow.


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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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