Jakarta court jails Uighur bomb maker

Anti-terror police secure the residence of a suspect, who attacked several policemen on duty at an intersection, in Tangerang, Banten province on Oct 20, 2016.
Anti-terror police secure the residence of a suspect, who attacked several policemen on duty at an intersection, in Tangerang, Banten province on Oct 20, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

A militant from Xinjiang, China, who had plans to mount suicide bombing in Indonesia, was jailed for six years yesterday.

A Jakarta district court found the 30-year-old Uighur guilty of bomb-making, conspiring to create terror and plotting a suicide attack on the Shi'ite Muslim community in Bogor, West Java.

Nur Muhammet Abdullah, better known by his nom de guerre Ali, was said to have ties with no fewer than three known Indonesian militants. They include Gigih Rahmat Dewa, the leader of a Batam cell whose plot to fire a rocket from the Indonesian island to Marina Bay in Singapore was foiled by the police in August.

The court heard that Ali is also said to have had ties with Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant fighting alongside the terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Ali had tried to travel to Syria to join ISIS early last year but was caught using a fake passport in Turkey and deported home.

He then turned his attention to Indonesia, like many other Uighur militants who have joined groups such as the East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT), and entered the country illegally via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the prosecution, Ali was smuggled by sea into Batam, where he was met by Gigih Rahmat sometime in October last year. It was Bahrun who had instructed Gigih Rahmat to pick up Ali in Batam.

Ali then took a domestic flight to Jakarta with another Indonesian militant named Nur Rohman, who in July blew himself up in a suicide bombing attempt on a police station in Solo, Central Java.

The Uighur's objective was to link up with domestic terror cells operating in Central and West Java, said the prosecution. His journey through Indonesia was planned by a terror network led by Arif Hidayatullah, alias Abu Musab, a follower of Bahrun. Police arrested Ali during a raid in Bekasi near Jakarta on Dec 23 last year.

Presiding judge Novry Tammy Oroh said the prosecution had proven the case against Ali, whom he also fined 50 million rupiah (S$5,300) for entering Indonesia without a permit.

In July last year, three Uighurs were jailed six years each for trying to link up with MIT. Ahmet Mahmud, 20, Altinci Bayyram, 28, and Abdul Basit Tuzer, 30, were also fined a total of 100 million rupiah for immigration offences.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2016, with the headline 'Jakarta court jails Uighur bomb maker'. Print Edition | Subscribe