Indonesia Sentences Islamic State Cleric to Death via Firing Squad

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana

A court in Indonesia sentenced an Islamic State cleric to death on Friday via firing squad for his role in organizing a series of militant terrorist attacks across the world’s largest Muslim country.

Aman Abdurrahman was sentenced to death in South Jakarta District Court under high security for his role in masterminding a string of terrorist attacks in Jakarta from a maximum security prison, where he was serving a separate sentence since 2010. Around 500 police were deployed for the sentencing.

“The court sentences the defendant to death,” declared Judge Ahmad Zaini, after being found guilty of “carrying out terrorism.” As his sentence was read out, Abdurrahman could be seen praying on the floor.

Abdurrahman pleaded not guilty to the charges, admitting he had urged his followers to travel to Syria to fight for the Islamic State but had not organized any attacks in Indonesia. Yet his lawyer, Asludin Hatjani, said that his client did not attend to file an appeal.

“He himself does not have the desire to appeal because he does not recognize the court or Indonesian laws,” he told reporters, adding that he was one week to do so before his execution date is confirmed.

The 46-year-old cleric is understood to be the head of ISIS-affiliated organization Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), formed in 2015. According to the U.S. State Department, the organization is “composed of almost two dozen Indonesian extremist groups that pledged allegiance to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

Some of Abdurrahman’s attacks include a gun-and-bomb attack in 2016 that killed four civilians and injured dozens more in Central Jakarta. Last year, the group also carried out a suicide bombing at a bus stop that killed three people and bombed a church on Borneo island wounding four children.

Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Islamic population, has seen a resurgence of militancy in recent years, mainly inspired by the Islamic State. Last month, two families carried out attacks on a police station and a church that killed over 30 people and left dozens of others injured.

President Joko Widodo condemned such acts as “cowardly, undignified and inhumane” and pledged to push through additional anti-terror legislation that would vastly expand the police and military security presence across the country, although critics fear it will turn the country into a police state.

“There will be no compromise in taking action on the ground to stop terrorism,” Widodo said at the time.

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