Indonesian Court Sentences Preacher Over Twin Bomb Attacks in 2017

Arie Firdaus
180409_ID_Preacher_1000.jpg Defendant Kiki Muhammad Iqbal enters North Jakarta District Court, April 9, 2018.
Arie Firdaus/BenarNews

An Indonesian court sentenced a terrorist-turned-preacher to nine years in prison on Monday for inciting suicide attacks that killed three Jakarta police officers in May 2017.

Kiki Muhamad Iqbal, 38, was found guilty of organizing twin bombings at a bus station in East Jakarta that killed the officers along with two perpetrators and injured at least 11 people.

“We find the defendant guilty of mobilizing other parties to participate and sentence the defendant to nine years in prison,” Chief Judge Purwanto told the courtroom at the North Jakarta District Court. Prosecutors had sought a 12-year sentence on a charge that could carry the death penalty.

The court ruled that Kiki directed the two suicide bombers, Ahmad Sukri and Ichwan Nurul Salam, to conduct the May 24, 2017, attack through his sermons at a mosque in West Java province. He preached about the Muslim privilege of “mati syahid” or “dying a martyr,” telling them that their sins would be removed and they would be given 72 angels in heaven and freed from hell.

The prosecutor, in his indictment, said both Ahmad and Ichwan were present when Kiki delivered a sermon five days before the attacks.

“It’s not fair,” Kiki told reporters responding to the verdict.

Handcuffed and guarded by armed officers, he left the courtroom and got into a car that took him to prison.

Kiki’s attorney, Kamsi, who only uses one name, said his client would decide whether to appeal. His client did not personally know the bombers, the lawyer steadfastly claimed.

“It just happened that Kiki was the person giving the sermon there,” Kamsi said after the hearing.

Previous conviction

Monday’s conviction was Kiki’s second on terror-related charges.

In June 2011, he was sentenced to six years for his involvement in Bandung’s “Cibiru Bomb” terror network that planned to bomb police mobile brigade headquarters and several embassies in Jakarta, according to police.

Officers claimed that the group’s bombs were more powerful than the car bomb used in the first Bali bombing in 2002 that killed 202 people.

Kiki, who was released from Indonesia’s main prison, Nusakambangan, in August 2015, connected with other terrorists while behind bars, according to prosecutors.

He began to interact with radical cleric Aman Abdurrahman, the head of Islamic State-affiliated Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) who was serving a nine-year sentence for funding terrorist training camps in Aceh province.

Aman is facing a possible death sentence for inciting others to commit terror attacks, including an attack claimed by Islamic State (IS) that killed eight people, including four perpetrators, in central Jakarta in January 2016.

Kiki also met with another top militant, Iwan Darmawan (alias Rois), who is on death row for his involvement in the 2004 Australian Embassy bombing in Jakarta, a prosecutor said.

“They were in one block,” prosecutor Solehudin said.

“A week before Kiki’s release, Aman gave a message to Kiki to continue the preaching that confirms the Daulah (Islamic caliphate),” Solehudin said.

Defendants Wachihdun Triyono (left), and Muslih Afifi Afandi listen to verdicts at the North Jakarta Court, April 9, 2018. (Arie Firdaus/BenarNews)
Defendants Wachihdun Triyono (left), and Muslih Afifi Afandi listen to verdicts at the North Jakarta Court, April 9, 2018. (Arie Firdaus/BenarNews)



Conspirators sentenced

The court also sentenced two followers of Kiki, Muslih Afifi Afandi and Wachidun Triyono.

Muslih, an emir or leader East Bandung’s JAD, was sentenced to seven years and Wachidun, the head of JAD military wing under Muslih, was sentenced to 3½ years. Prosecutors had sought sentences of 12 to 15 years.

“Defendant Muslih knew that the two perpetrators of Kampung Melayu were present during a sermon by Kiki,” judge Jootje Sampaleng said, referring to last year’s attack at the bus station.

“However as the leader of the regional JAD, the defendant kept silent. So the elements of deliberately giving facility and hiding the information of terrorist crimes are met validly and convincingly.”

Muslih responded “I object!”

Kiki was one of 172 suspected terrorists arrested in Indonesia last year, according to police officials.


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