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Indonesian Cleric Charged With Plotting Terrorism

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Prosecutors have formally charged Indonesia's best-known radical cleric with planning terrorist attacks, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of death.

Abu Bakar Bashir, the 72-year-old spiritual head of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah network, also was charged with helping fund a new terror cell in Aceh province and mobilizing foot soldiers.

Prosecutors presented the indictment Wednesday to the South Jakarta District Court. They said 138 witnesses will testify at the trial, which is expected to begin next week.

Militants linked to Jemaah Islamiyah have carried out a series of attacks in Indonesia that have killed more than 260 people in less than a decade.