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Jailed Malaysian Militant says Bashir Spoke about Religion, Not Terror Activities, During Meetings

A jailed Malaysian militant testifying in the terrorism trial of Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has failed to link the alleged terror chief to any crimes.

Syamsul Bahri told the court in Jakarta Tuesday that he met Bashir at least three times. But he said Bashir spoke about religion, not terror activities, during those meetings.

He also testified that he heard Bashir had become spiritual leader of the regional militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, but was not aware of his inauguration.

Bashir is accused of involvement in several bombings, including the 2002 Bali nightclub attacks that killed 202 people, as well as last year's attack on a Jakarta luxury hotel.

The cleric denies the allegations.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.