June 22, 2018

INDONESIA: A Court Hands Death Sentence To Islamic State-Linked Muslim Cleric For Militant Terrorist Attacks. Islamic Terror The Left Tells Me Is Made Up By Mossad And CIA And Doesn't Exist.

Reuters News
written by Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Darren Whiteside
Thursday June 21, 2018

JAKARTA - An Indonesian court on Friday sentenced to death a cleric linked to Islamic State, for masterminding from his jail cell a string of deadly militant attacks across the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

The ruling comes as Indonesia struggles to rein in a rising tide of homegrown militancy, inspired in part by the extremist group Islamic State, with parliament approving tougher anti-terrorism laws last month.

Aman Abdurrahman, 46, is considered the ideological leader of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) - a loose grouping of Islamic State sympathizers in Indonesia.

“The court sentences the defendant to death,” said the judge, Ahmad Zaini, adding that Abdurrahman had been proved guilty of “carrying out terrorism”.

Abdurrahman bowed and touched his forehead to the floor on hearing the verdict, but did not respond to the judge’s query whether he would appeal against the ruling.

He was convicted of planning a 2016 gun-and-bomb attack in the heart of Jakarta, the capital, that killed eight people, including four attackers.

Abdurrahman was also proved to be behind a suicide attack last year that killed three police officers at a Jakarta bus station and the bombing of a church in Samarinda on Borneo island that wounded four children.

He was serving a sentence in a maximum security prison at the time.

Abdurrahman’s defense team told reporters the sentence was “too harsh”.

“He himself does not have the desire to appeal because he does not recognize the court or Indonesian laws,” said Asludin Hatjani, a lawyer for Abdurrahman, adding that the defense team had a week to consider filing an appeal.

Earlier, dozens of masked and heavily armed police officers stood guard as Abdurrahman, handcuffed and wearing an orange prison jacket over a blue shirt and black trousers, was escorted into the South Jakarta courthouse by counter-terrorism officers.

Security experts have raised concerns that a harsh penalty for the cleric could trigger retaliatory attacks by followers.

“The verdict provides moral support for the counter-terrorism community, but it will also make Abdurrahman a martyr to the jihadist community, whether he is executed or allowed to spend years on death row,” Concord Consulting, a risk advisory group based in Jakarta, said in a note.

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 nearly two decades.

The U.S. State department says the JAD grouping is a “terrorist” organization linked to numerous attacks.
The Wall Street Journal
written by Anita Rachman and Ben Otto
Friday June 22, 2018

JAKARTA, Indonesia—An Indonesian court sentenced an Islamic State-linked cleric to death, a rare decision that underscores a hardening mood against terrorists in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

The decision Friday against Aman Abdurrahman, founder of Indonesia’s most dangerous pro-Islamic State group, comes after public shock over family suicide bombings last month and the subsequent passage of an antiterrorism law that gives police in this sprawling nation of more than 250 million people expanded powers to detain terror suspects. More than 100 suspected terrorists have been arrested since the bombings.

A panel of five judges found Abdurrahman guilty of inciting followers to commit acts of terror—including a gun-and-bombs attack at a Starbucks in downtown Jakarta in January 2016, the first attack in Southeast Asia explicitly linked to the Syria-based Islamic State.

“The very important role he played in disseminating his sermons online made his followers carry out bombings that resulted in casualties and fear,” Chief Judge Akhmad Jaini said.

Indonesia had largely contained the terrorist threat since the peak of al Qaeda-linked attacks in the early 2000s, but the rise of Islamic State—including the group’s ability to claim territory last year in the five-month occupation of Marawi in the neighboring Philippines—has left officials here fearful that a new generation of militants is regrouping.

In court on Friday, Abdurrahman knelt and touched his forehead to the ground when a judge announced the death sentence, the first for a terrorism conviction here in more than a decade. Capital punishment in Indonesia is carried out by firing squad.

Asludin Hatjani, a court-appointed defense lawyer, said his client didn’t want to appeal the decision. The cleric has refused to recognize the court’s legitimacy to try him. Mr. Hatjani called the sentence “forced” and said Abdurrahman shouldn’t be held responsible for whether his writings and sermons inspire followers to commit terrorism.

Abdurrahman has spent much of the past 14 years in jail on bomb-making charges, for helping organize a militant training camp and on the charge of inciting attacks. The U.S. has called him the de facto leader of Islamic State supporters in Indonesia and declared him a “specially designated global terrorist.”

‘The very important role he played in disseminating his sermons online made his followers carry out bombings that resulted in casualties and fear.’ —Chief Judge Akhmad Jaini

Police and U.S. authorities say Abdurrahman has been a link for Islamic State in Indonesia despite his incarceration, serving as a translator of the group’s texts and recruiting followers to fight in the Middle East until he was placed in isolation in after the Jakarta attack that killed four bystanders and four attackers.

Abdurrahman has lost influence in isolation, but his writings remain standard study material among pro-Islamic State groups.

Indonesia suffered its most dramatic terrorist attacks in years when two men who police said were associated with Abdurrahman’s group led their wives and children in suicide bombings at churches and a police station in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city. The bombings were the first in the country to involve women and children.

The Surabaya attacks “provided the mood” that led to capital punishment sentencing, said Noor Huda Ismail, a terrorism expert and founder of the Institute for International Peace Building.

Some terrorism analysts criticized the decision to invoke the death penalty, saying it would help expand his influence.

Abdurrahman “alive has sparked divisions within the extremist movement,” said Sidney Jones, director of the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict. “The government may be losing a chance to exploit the divisions that exist.”

Corrections & Amplifications
Akhmad Jaini is the chief judge in the case. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that his name is Ahmad Zaini. (June 22)

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