Indonesian cleric sentenced to death over 2016 deadly café attack

Blanche Robertson
June 22, 2018

Aman, the de facto leader of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a local affiliate of the IS terror group, was found guilty of inciting several terror attacks in Indonesia and was given a death sentence by the South Jakarta District Court in a hearing on Friday.

Suicide bombings last month in Indonesia's second largest city of Surabaya that killed more than 30 people and were carried out by families with young children, were linked to JAD cells and were the country's deadliest in almost two decades.

Prosecutors said he is a danger to humanity.

They included the Starbucks attack in the capital that killed four civilians and four fighters, an attack on a bus terminal in Jakarta that killed three police officers and an attack on a church in Kalimantan that killed a two-year-old girl.

This file photo taken on January 14, 2016 shows police securing the area in front of a damaged Starbucks coffee shop after a series of explosions hit central Jakarta.

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During the trial, prosecutors said Abdurrahman's instructions from prison, where he was serving a terrorism-related sentence, resulted in several attacks in Indonesia.

The defence team had a week to consider filing an appeal against the ruling, Abdurrahman's lawyer told reporters, but added that the cleric had said he would not appeal, as he did not recognise the Indonesian state and its laws.

Despite being imprisoned since 2010, Abdurrahman has recruited militants to join IS, is thought to have been in communication with leaders of the jihadist group, and is the main translator for IS propaganda in Indonesia, according to analysts and authorities. But a new threat has emerged in the past several years from IS sympathizers including Indonesians who travelled to the Middle East to fight with ISIS.

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, has long struggled with Islamic militancy, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people - mostly foreign tourists - in the country's worst-ever terror attack. Two families carried out the attacks, using children as young as 7.

Reflecting a dire lack of supervision of armed groups in Indonesia's overcrowded prisons, Abdurrahman was able to spread his ideology and communicate with his supporters on the outside through visitors and video calls, they say.

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