|Indonesian cleric sentenced to death over 2016 ISIS/JAD terror attack|
|[IsraelTimes] Aman Abdurrahman convicted for in Starbucks cafe attributed to Islamic State|
Indonesian Aman Abdurrahman
Heavily armed police guarded the hearing at a Jakarta court ‐ which had earlier found Abdurrahman guilty of ing the attack that killed four ‐ as it ordered his execution.
"(The defendant) has been proven to have committed a criminal act of terrorism," said judge Akhmad Jaini, who also cited Abdurrahman’s involvement in other attacks for handing down the "He will be sentenced to death."
Executions are carried out by firing squad in the world’s biggest -majority country, which has long struggled with Islamist terrorism.
The assault in the capital two years ago saw security forces battle gun-toting near the cafe where a suicide bomber detonated his explosives.
Last month, prosecutors demanded that Abdurrahman be handed a death sentence for his role in the attack, which was the first claimed by IS in Southeast Asia.
Considered the de facto head of all IS supporters in Indonesia, Abdurrahman ‐ believed to be 46 ‐ is also the spiritual leader of local network Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
Authorities have said JAD was involved in the 2016 attack and a recent wave of s in Indonesia’s second-biggest city Surabaya. Two families ‐ including girls aged nine and 12 ‐ blew themselves up at churches and a last month, killing 13.
Authorities have not charged Abdurrahman ‐ who was already in jail on a separate terror conviction ‐ over the Surabaya attacks.
Despite being imprisoned since 2010, Abdurrahman has recruited to join IS, is thought to have been in communication with leaders of the jihadist group, and is the main translator for IS propaganda in Indonesia, according to analysts and authorities.
|Prison riot in Indonesia leaves police officers dead|
|[Al Jazeera] Six people have been confirmed dead in a riot in a high-security prison outside Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.|
Of the dead, five were highly trained counterterrorism and one was a prison inmate, according to officials.
The riot broke out late on Tuesday in the prison, located in Depok and holding suspected members of the of Iraq and the Levant ( ) group.
Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen, reporting from the site, on Wednesday, said the inmates want to meet their leader, Aman Abdurrahman, a self-proclaimed leader of in Indonesia who was detained and is currently put on trial for plotting an attack on the same prison.
Three suspects had been four days before the riot by police, who said they were plotting to attack the police force's headquarters in Jakarta.
As erupted between the inmates and the officers in the prison, some inmates managed to escape by breaking down doors and slipping out of their cellblock, according to the officials.
The escaped prisoners then took a number of officers hostage, five of whom have now been declared dead.
The prisoners stole guns, ammunition and weapons, the officials said, adding that some of the remain in captivity.
A tense situation has last at the prison for over 18 hours now, with seeking to arrest inmates involved in the riot on "terrorism" charges.
Negotiations to resolve the crisis have also been taking place between since Tuesday night, reports have said.
|‘No direct link’ between Daesh leaders and Indonesian militants, says terror expert|
|[ARABNEWS] There are no direct links between Indonesian and the leadership of in Syria, an Indonesian terrorism expert said on Tuesday.|
Taufik Andrie, executive director of the Institute for International Peace Building in Jakarta, was speaking during a meeting about changes in the global terrorism network and the impact those changes have had on extremism in Indonesia.
He said that attacks by self-proclaimed -affiliated in Indonesia "were not always related to , or even to Bahrun Naim or Aman Abdurrahman," referencing an Indonesian believed to be fighting for in Syria and a convicted radical who led a -affiliated network from his prison cell.
"There has never been a direct link between in Syria with those who claimed to be affiliated with the group here," Andrie said. "Most of those so-called acknowledgements were self-proclaimed.
"If we follow the money trail, there has been little financial support coming in from Syria to Indonesia for terrorism activities," he told Arab News.
Andrie said that remnants of the Southeast Asian network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) ‐ outlawed in Indonesia since 2008 ‐ still remain, with a clear organizational structure and key figures implementing their strategies.
Nasir Abbas, a former who is now known as a de-radicalization activist, said the group now operates anonymously, but still works toward the same goals using a mixture of preaching and violence.
"They are still on the move, but they don’t put a name on their organization. They use a strategy, unlike other who think that they are waging war by being lone wolves," said Abbas, adding that other groups were now emulating JI by putting a solid structure in place.
"They would try to settle in a small region and strengthen their base, preaching to the locals about their intention to establish a caliphate and making the locals believe in their propaganda," he explained.
Abbas said the conflict-torn southern Philippines remains the go-to destination for Southeast Asian returning to the region after joining in the Middle East. He claimed they pass through the porous sea and land borders from Indonesia’s North Kalimantan province to Malaysia’s Sabah state before entering the Philippines in "It’s the preferred trail because there is a chain of small islands in the Sulu Sea and there are a lot of separatist groups there, which means there is an abundant supply of guns and ammunition," he said.
Nava Nuraniyah, an analyst at the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) in Jakarta, said there has been little change in the role of women in groups, particularly in Indonesian and Filipino organizations.
"Very few of them have become combatants. When they do, the reason is usually self-empowerment," she told Arab News. "But most of them play the role of financier, treasurer and recruiter. They manage the money because they are housewives who are also entrepreneurs," she explained.
|Arrested Indonesian woman says IS group militant ordered bombing|
|[AlAhram] A female would-be last week one day before her planned attack in Indonesia's capital said she took orders from Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian with the group in Syria accused of orchestrating several attacks in the past year.|
Dian Yulia Novi and her husband Nur Solihin were among four suspected arrested Saturday after police detected their plot to bomb a guard-changing ceremony at the presidential palace. A neighborhood on the outskirts of Jakarta was evacuated after a bomb was found.
Police suspect the four were part of a network responsible for a bomb-making lab in West Java province that was operating under the direction of Naim.
Novi, a former migrant worker in Singapore and Taiwan, said in a TVOne interview broadcast Wednesday that she learned about jihad on social media such as Facebook. She said she was influenced by articles from an Islamic website on upholding monotheism and defending the caliphate and Aman Abdurrahman, a radical serving a nine-year prison sentence in Indonesia.
The active involvement of a woman in the plot is a new development for violent radicalism in socially conservative Indonesia, where women married to or associated with have typically stayed in the background.
The 3-kilogram bomb that Novi was to detonate would have as crowds of people gathered to watch the presidential guard changing ceremony, a popular family attraction in Jakarta. In the interview, she revealed a chilling disregard for her fellow Indonesians.
"The target is not ordinary people, not hawkers, not babies. The target is the enforcers of man-made laws," Novi said.
-majority Indonesia has carried out a sustained crackdown on since the 2002 bombings on the tourist island of Bali by al-Qaeda-affiliated that killed 202 people. But a new threat has emerged in the past several years from IS sympathizers. Several hundred Indonesians have traveled to Syria to join IS.
Novi said she communicated with Naim on three occasions through the encrypted chat app Telegram and said it was he who decided the target of the attack.
Her husband, Solihin, also interviewed by the TV station, said he married Novi to facilitate her desire to be a suicide bomber.
"I did not know what the target was. Only after police revealed the bomb plot, then I realized that the target was the presidential palace," he said.
|Jakarta bombing mastermind to be charged in June|
|[Channel News Asia] Convicted terrorist and Daesh advocate Aman Abdurrahman will be charged in June for planning the January 14 terror attack in Jakarta.|
Tito Karnavian, chief of Indonesia's National Counter-Terrorism Agency, said Aman's involvement was clear. He said, "There is no difficulty (in establishing). There are already many witnesses that have been investigated."
Aman was earlier identified as the suspected mastermind in the Jakarta blasts, carried out by four members of a terror network. All four, along with four bystanders were killed in the bombings.
Aman was previously convicted for his role in setting up a Jemaah Islamiyah training camp in Aceh in 2009. The 44-year-old cleric is currently serving eight years in a maximum security prison in Central Java.
Tito said that Aman was supposed to be released from prison in 2018. On the impending charges, Tito said, "There is still time. There is no need to rush."
|Jakarta attack highlights regional Daesh leadership jostle|
|[Reuters] Last week’s attack on Jakarta showed for the first time that Daesh violence has arrived in Indonesia, but experts believe the group’s footprint still has limited influence here because militants are competing to be its regional leader.|
Police have identified Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian based in Syria, as the mastermind of the attacks that left all five attackers and two civilians dead on Thursday. But perhaps the region's most influential jihadi is a jailed cleric, Aman Abdurrahman, who with just a few couriers and a cell phone is able to command around 200 followers from prison.
Abdurrahman sits at the head of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, an umbrella organization formed last year that experts believe could become the unifying force for Daesh supporters.
Police believe that Naim, an Abdurrahman supporter, was trying to prove his leadership skills to Daesh leaders in Syria by plotting the Jakarta attack. Jakarta police chief Tito Karnavian said Naim's vision was to unite now-splintered groups across Southeast Asia that support Daesh.
Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah was the last transnational group to successfully launch large-scale attacks in the region, including the 2002 Bali bombings. JI, founded by Indonesian and Malaysian militants who returned from battling the Soviet Union in the the 1980s and early 1990s, has largely fallen apart due to internal rivalries and a sustained crackdown by security forces. Regional governments fear that Malay-speaking militants returning from Syria and Iraq could form a similar regional organization.
In Malaysia, former university lecturer Mahmud Ahmad is thought to be behind recent attempts to unite militant groups, including the Abu Sayyaf, from three Southeast Asian countries.
Abdurrahman remains perhaps the weightiest contender for Daesh leadership in the region. While serving a 9-year prison term for funding a militant training camp in Indonesia, he has managed to encourage hundreds of Indonesians to join the jihad in Syria and Iraq.
Prison authorities have tried repeatedly to silence Abdurrahman. According to the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, ten phones were seized from his cell in September 2014, but just a month later he got hold of a new phone and his sermons to followers resumed.
|Indonesia's struggling deradicalisation policy|
|Indonesia's vaunted "deradicalisation programme" aimed at bringing terrorists back into mainstream Islam has been exposed as a myth by recent arrests of re-offenders, analysts and police said. Senior police now acknowledge that no such programme exists and are issuing increasingly stark warnings that, on the contrary, the mainly Muslim country's prisons are at risk of becoming schools of violent jihad.|
The final straw appears to have been the re-arrest Wednesday of Abdullah Sunata, 32, on suspicion of plotting attacks on the Danish embassy and a police parade. He was released from jail last year for good behaviour after serving only a fraction of a seven-year sentence for his role in a 2004 attack on the Australian embassy, which killed 10 people.
One of Sunata's alleged accomplices arrested on the same day last week had also been jailed for the embassy attack, while a third who was killed by police was a former soldier who had been radicalised in prison while serving time for smuggling.
Other recent examples include bomb-maker Bagus Budi Pranoto -- also jailed over the embassy truck bombing, he was released after just four years only to be re-arrested over last year's suicide attacks on luxury hotels in Jakarta.
Within months of Sunata's release, he was allegedly back on the jihadist war path, plotting attacks and helping to organise a new terror cell dubbed "Al-Qaeda in Aceh" under the leadership of Jemaah Islamiyah militant Dulmatin. Police discovered the cell in February and killed Dulmatin in March.
National police spokesman Edward Aritonang said Sunata's case was further evidence that Indonesia's prisons, far from helping to rehabilitate terrorists, risked turning into terrorist "schools". It is time to look at a "new system or method, so the counselling for prisoners truly works and prisons don't become schools" of radicalisation, he said.
Hundreds of terrorists have been convicted, jailed and released since Indonesia was shaken by the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, mostly Western tourists. With rare exceptions -- notably three of the Bali bombers who were executed in 2008 -- most have been given lenient sentences and even financial help to find jobs and reintegrate into moderate Indonesian society.
Counter-terrorism squad chief Colonel Tito Karnavian complains that the notoriously corrupt correction system effectively provides extremists a sanctuary to preach, recruit and plot. "In prison they can convene, sit and discuss freely and safely, secured by the government," he told reporters earlier this month, adding that Indonesia had "no systematic mechanism" for rehabilitation. "They are able to survive, not only survive but collaborate... We need quite a big budget for prevention and rehabilitation, not only repression."
Recognising the danger, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered the creation of a national counter-terrorism body, focusing on prevention and rehabilitation, which will report directly to him. But Karnavian warned that an "extra-judicial body" would be "prone to be politicised" -- a possible reference to Islamic parties in the ruling coalition -- and said police should remain in charge of all counter-terrorism efforts. "As long as the radical ideology is growing and extremism is increasing we have a very huge reservoir for would-be terrorists or suicide bombers," he said.
Noor Huda Ismail, a former extremist who now works directly with terrorist prisoners to bring them back into moderate society, said Indonesia had never had a proper deradicalisation plan. "All they've done so far is be nice with the terrorists in order to squeeze information from them," he told AFP.
The Al-Qaeda in Aceh group's chief alleged ideologue, Aman Abdurrahman, was initially arrested over his involvement in a bomb-making cell back in 2004 and was released in 2008. Analysts who visited him in jail during that period said his prison guards, rather than working to deradicalise him, didn't even know who he was and made no effort to stop him holding "study sessions" with other terrorist detainees. Like Sunata, Abdurrahman is now back behind bars.