Indonesian militant given 9 years jail for inciting attacks

April 9, 2018
Suspected Islamic militant Kiki Muhamad Iqbal sits on the defendant's chair during his trial at a district court in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, April 9, 2018. The court has sentenced the Indonesian militant to nine years in prison for masterminding a double suicide bombing that targeted police at a bus terminal in Jakarta. (AP Photo/ Arie Firdaus)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An Indonesian court sentenced an Islamic militant to nine years in prison on Monday for masterminding a double suicide bombing last year that targeted police at a bus terminal in Jakarta.

Kiki Muhammad Iqbal, 38, was among six suspected militants who were arrested days after the attack, in which two bombers blew themselves up, killing three policemen and themselves. The attack also wounded 12 people, both police and civilians.

The suspects were believed to be members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, a network of about two dozen Indonesian extremist groups that formed in 2015 and pledges allegiance to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The network, which the United States has designated a terrorist grouping, has been implicated in a number of attacks in Indonesia over the past year.

A panel of three judges at North Jakarta District Court ruled that Iqbal had organized and incited others to launch the suicide attacks through his jihadist sermons at a mosque in Bandung, the capital of West Java province. The bombers and other suspects attended the mosque.

“The defendant has legally and convincingly been proven guilty of organizing and inciting others to commit acts of terrorism,” said presiding Judge Purwanto, who uses one name.

The May 24 attack last year was the deadliest in Jakarta since January 2016, when a suicide and gun strike in the central business district killed four civilians and four assailants.

In a separate trial in the same court, a panel of three judges sentenced another militant, Muslih Afifi Afandi, to seven years in jail for harboring other suspects and hiding information about the attacks from authorities.

Officials in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, have carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since the 2002 bombings by al-Qaida-affiliated radicals that killed 202 people in Bali. In recent years the country has faced a new threat as the rise of the Islamic State group in the Middle East has breathed new life into local militant networks.