Indonesia terror network backed deadly Jan 14 strike

Ali Makhmudin supplied steel for homemade bombs. Dodi Suridi was jailed for 10 years for mixing explosives.
Dodi Suridi was jailed for 10 years for mixing explosives.
Ali Makhmudin supplied steel for homemade bombs. Dodi Suridi was jailed for 10 years for mixing explosives.
Ali Makhmudin supplied steel for homemade bombs.
Cleric Aman Abdurrahman may have called for the strike.
Cleric Aman Abdurrahman may have called for the strike.
Bahrun Naim is a militant who has joined terror group ISIS.
Bahrun Naim is a militant who has joined terror group ISIS.

The perpetrators of the Jan 14 attack last year, dubbed the "Jakarta Four", were killed at the scene, but investigations later established that the plot was facilitated by a wide network of terrorists in Indonesia.

At least 17 militants have been arrested and charged in connection with the case, while a handful are either at large or behind bars for other terrorism-related offences.

So far, four men have been convicted and jailed for supporting the attack. They include bomb-maker Dodi Suridi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Oct 20 last year for mixing the explosives used during a hit.

Ali Hamka was jailed on the same day for four years after he was found guilty of trying to acquire firearms for the perpetrators.

Five days later, Ali Makhmudin, who belongs to a terror cell in Central Java, was jailed eight years for supplying steel pipes for homemade bombs.

On Nov 23 last year, a Jakarta district court said there was sufficient evidence to prove that Abu Gar had "assisted in the act of terror". He got nine years in jail for funding, recruiting and supplying weapons for the hit. Abu Gar, along with the Jakarta Four of Sunakim alias Afif, Muhammad Ali, Dian Juni Kurniadi and Ahmad Muhazin, was a follower of radical ideologue Aman Abdurrahman.

Aman, who is serving time in Nusakambangan prison, is said to have called for the strike from jail. He is the leader of the Jemaah Ansharut Daulah, a local terrorist group which was recently placed on a United States counter-terrorism watchlist because of its ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He too may be charged in court for the attack, Indonesian police chief Tito Karnavian had said.

His cellmate, Iwan Darmawan Muntho alias Rois, is said to have helped Abu Gar put the Jakarta Four together. Rois is on death row for his part in the 2004 bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta.

General Tito had said that the Jan 14 attack was directed by Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant who has joined ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.

But some analysts and confidential sources identified Bahrumsyah, another Indonesian militant in Syria, as the man who may have communicated the order from ISIS to mount the attack on Jakarta.

Bahrun was linked to a string of smaller terror cells in Java, busted by the police in December last year, while Bahrumsyah is a leader of a battalion of foreign fighters from South-east Asia who had joined ISIS in the Middle East.

Both Aman and Bahrumsyah have been flagged by the US as "Specially Designated Nationals" due to their links to terrorism.

Six more - Lutfhi Rizky Ramadhan alias Lutfhi, Humedi alias Hamzah, Cunaeidi alias Junaedi alias Abu Salmah, Junedi alias JJ, Iwan Sobirin alias Wawan and Helmi Purnama Fauzi alias Abu Tsoraya alias Muhammad Aveuruz - are still awaiting sentencing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 15, 2017, with the headline 'Indonesia terror network backed deadly Jan 14 strike'. Print Edition | Subscribe