Asia Pacific

Indonesia: 9 years jail for ‘mastermind’ of 2017 Jakarta twin suicide bomb attack claimed by ISIS

The convicted mastermind of a deadly twin bombing in Jakarta last year claimed by Islamic State was sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday.

Kiki Muhammad Iqbal, 38, was found guilty of organising the May 2017 suicide attacks that killed three police officers and injured a dozen people at a busy bus station in the sprawling capital.

Ahmad Sukri and Ikhwan Nur Salam died when pressure cooker bombs filled with nails and buckshot they were carrying exploded around five minutes apart. The second blast was within 12 meters of the first.

The bombers had attended a mosque where Iqbal gave fiery sermons calling on Muslims to “die as martyrs,” the North Jakarta court heard.

“[The defendant has been] proven, legally and convincingly, of committing the crime of plotting and mobilising others to commit a criminal act of terrorism,” presiding judge Purwanto said.

It was less than the 12-year jail term that prosecutors had demanded.

Iqbal was arrested two weeks after the bombings and pleaded not guilty, saying he had no knowledge that the two men would carry out an attack.

He had already served time in jail after being convicted in 2011 of making bombs to be used in terror attacks.

He was arrested as part of “the Cibiru bomb group” in West Java, and sentenced to six years imprisonment. When released in 2017, he reportedly refused to participate in a National Counter-terrorism Agency deradicalisation program.

Iqbal is believed to be a student of radical cleric Aman Abdurrahman, the leader of the local Islamic State-linked militant outfit Jamaah Ansharut Daulah.

Abdurrahman is also currently on trial for plotting a deadly 2016 attack in downtown Jakarta, claimed by ISIS, that killed four bystanders. Four militants died after they were shot or blew themselves up in the brazen midday attack.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, has long struggled with Islamist militancy and has been hit by a series of attacks in the past 15 years, including the 2002 Bali bombings that left 202 people dead.

With reporting from AFP

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