10 people on trial in Indonesia for alleged ISIS links

Indonesian meatball seller Ahmad Junaedi (second from right) waits in a court room prior to his trial at the West Jakarta court in Jakarta on Oct 12, 2015.
Indonesian meatball seller Ahmad Junaedi (second from right) waits in a court room prior to his trial at the West Jakarta court in Jakarta on Oct 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

The West Jakarta district court is holding the trials of 10 people for alleged links to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The indictments of two more alleged terrorists will be delivered to the court later this week.

Nine of the trials started in September and one in August. The charges involve helping to fund the trips of others to go to Syria, travelling to and fighting in Syria for ISIS, and running a website that promotes ISIS.

The trials may last for at least three months before verdicts are out.

Ahmad Junaedi, 33, who in March last year went to Syria to join ISIS and returned to Indonesia only after six months, has been indicted for joining a terrorist organisation.

Junaedi was a push-cart meatball seller in Malang, East Java province. He told the court that he decided to return to Indonesia after he was given a task as a doorman in Syria.

During the early part of his trial, it was revealed that Junaedi had been promised that he would earn 15 million rupiah (S$1,500) a month in Syria as a fighter, but was paid only the equivalent of one million rupiah, or less than half of what he made monthly as a meatball seller.

During the early part of his trial, it was revealed that Junaedi had been promised that he would earn 15 million rupiah (S$1,500) a month in Syria as a fighter, but was paid only an equivalent of one million rupiah, or less than half of what he made monthly as a meatball seller. 

In a separate hearing, Koswara alias Ibnu Abdilah, a 32-year-old businessman, was accused of helping to arrange a trip for a family to go to Syria to join ISIS last year. The trip was foiled by the authorities.

Tuah Febriwansyah, 47, has been charged with spreading ISIS' violent ideology through his website. He has also been accused of encouraging others to travel to Syria to join ISIS.

Eighteen Indonesians - 12 adults and six children - were arrested at the Turkey-Syria border on Oct 31, Indonesian news portal Tempo.co.id reported, citing a report by Turkish news portal Hurriyet.com.tr.

Mr Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, the director of Indonesian citizen protection at the foreign affairs ministry in Jakarta, told Tempo that the ministry was looking into the case to confirm whether the arrested Indonesians have joined ISIS.

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2015, with the headline '10 people on trial in Indonesia for alleged ISIS links'. Print Edition | Subscribe