JAKARTA: An Indonesian militant was jailed for six years Monday over a series of failed plots hatched under the guidance of an Indonesian jihadist fighting with the Islamic State group in Syria.
Arif Hidayatullah plotted to assassinate Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian, and bomb a Jewish community center and a mosque used by members of the Muslim Shia minority, a court heard.
The 31-year-old, who was detained last December on the outskirts of Jakarta, did not carry out any of his plans because he was not confident his homemade bombs were ready.
The Jakarta court heard he concocted the plots under the wing of Bahrun Naim, a leading Indonesian militant fighting with IS, who has been linked to several botched assaults in his homeland, from a plot to fire a rocket at Singapore to a suicide attack on a police station.
There has been an upsurge of violence and attempted attacks in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country over the past year due to the growing influence of IS.
Hidayatullah was found guilty of possessing explosive materials intended for use in terror attacks.
“The defendant is declared to be convincingly guilty of terrorism offences and is sentenced to six years in prison,” Judge Siti Jamzanah told the court.
He also helped five Indonesians travel to Syria and helped a Uighur radical enter Indonesia, the court heard. The Uighur was later arrested outside Jakarta as he prepared to carry out a suicide bombing.
Indonesia has long struggled with Islamic militancy, suffering attacks in the 2000s including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed over 200 people, mostly foreign tourists.
A sustained crackdown weakened the most dangerous networks but IS has proved a potent new rallying cry for Indonesia’s radicals, stoking fears that militants fighting with the group could seek to organize attacks back home.
In January an IS-claimed suicide bombing and gun attack in Jakarta left four civilians and four attackers dead. AFP