BALI, Indonesia – Judges sentenced an Islamic militant to eight years in prison Tuesday for harboring the alleged mastermind of last year's homicide bombings on Indonesia's resort island of Bali — the first verdict in the terrorist attack.
Twenty people were killed in near-simultaneous strikes on three crowded restaurants, and nearly 200 others wounded.
Abdul Aziz, 30, met with Southeast Asia's most wanted terror suspect Noordin Top at least 10 times before the bombings, once allowing him to stay overnight at his school in Central Java province, said presiding judge Gede Wirya.
He said the former computer teacher — who also set up a Web site calling on Muslims to wage war against infidels — "committed a gross crime against humanity" through his terrorist actions.
Aziz also sewed fear in the community and further damaged Bali's tourism industry, Wirya said.
The defendant, wearing a green Islamic tunic, shouted "God is great!" after the ruling was read.
His lawyers said he may appeal.
Indonesia has been hit by a string of terrorist attacks blamed on the Al Qaeda-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah in recent years, including the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists.
Noordin was formerly a key member of the group, which has been weakened by scores of arrests in recent years, but security experts say he now appears to be operating independently.
Three other suspects accused in the 2005 bombings are charged with harboring Noordin or making or transporting the explosives used in the attacks. Their verdicts are expected later this week and early next.