Indonesia suicide bomb mastermind jailed for nine years

Jakarta (AFP) –


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

Kiki Muhamad Iqbal, 38, was found guilty of organising the suicide attacks that killed three policemen and injured a dozen others at a busy bus station in the sprawling capital.

Ahmad Sukri and Ikhwan Nur Salam, who blew themselves up in the huge explosions in May 2017, said in court they attended a mosque where Iqbal gave fiery sermons calling on Muslims to "die as martyrs".

"(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 told the North Jakarta court.

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

Iqbal, who was arrested two weeks after the bombings, pleaded not guilty and said 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.

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

Abdurrahman is also currently on trial for masterminding a deadly 2016 attack in downtown Jakarta, claimed by IS, 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.