It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
SOLO, Indonesia - A reputed leader of the al-Qaida-linked terror group blamed for deadly bombings across Indonesia on Thursday accused President Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard of waging wars against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir also called on Bush and Howard to convert to Islam, saying it was "the only way to save their souls," adding that families still grieving after the 2002 Bali blasts that killed many foreigners should also become Muslim to find "salvation and peace."
Bashir, 68, was released from prison Wednesday after completing a 26-month sentence for conspiracy in the Bali bombings that killed 202 people, was at a hardline Islamic boarding school that has spawned some of Southeast Asia's deadliest terrorists.
The firebrand cleric also declined to directly condemn young men who carry out bombings in Indonesia in the name of Islam, saying they he still considered them "holy warriors," because they believed they were defending the oppressed.
But he also said they misguided and wrong to use bombs in a country at peace.