• Indonesian plotted on Facebook to attack Myanmar embassy


    A suspected Indonesian extremist plotted with other Islamic militants on Facebook to bomb the Myanmar embassy to avenge the deaths of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, a court heard Wednesday at the start of his trial.

    Separiano, 29, is accused of planning to attack the mission in Jakarta in May as anger grew in Muslim-majority Indonesia at persecution of the Rohingya in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.

    Police arrested the accused, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, after foiling the plot when they caught two men on motorbike carrying pipe bombs the night before the planned attack.

    Prosecutor Susilo told the South Jakarta District Court that Separiano had been radicalised over several years after attending sermons by an extremist preacher at a central Jakarta mosque.

    The suspect, who had studied bomb-making on the Internet and had bought materials to makes bombs, met other extremists on Facebook, the prosecutor said.

    Among those he met was the alleged mastermind of the plot, Sigit Indrajid who leads the Negara Islam Indonesia group, which translates as the Islamic State of Indonesia.

    In April the defendant often logged on to “his Facebook account and chatted with Sigit, who posted a lot of news about the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which attracted a lot of comments saying there should be retaliation against the infidel Buddhists”, the prosecutor said.

    At one point Indrajid posted on Facebook that people should target “the Myanmar embassy to avenge the slaughter of Muslims in Myanmar.

    “We will set off our explosion as a surprise for the embassy” ahead of a demonstration by a radical group, Susilo said.

    In response, Separiano replied: “Yes, OK.”

    When police arrested him, they seized chemicals and instructions for bomb-making that had been bought by the defendant and several others accused over the plot.

    Separiano, who appeared in court wearing an orange top with “detainee” written on it, is charged under two anti-terrorism laws.

    He is accused of attempting to commission an act of terrorism or assisting in the commission of such an act; and plotting to commit a terrorist act that could result in victims or damage to buildings.

    Sigit and another man meanwhile have also been apprehended and are due to stand trial.

    The plot to attack the embassy followed several outbreaks of anti-Muslim unrest in Myanmar, which have exposed deep fractures in the formerly junta-run country and cast a shadow over political reforms.

    But it has been the fate of the stateless Rohingya that has attracted particular sympathy in Indonesia. AFP


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