Indonesia jails militant behind plot to kill Jakarta governor 'Ahok'

Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama was targeted for assassination by an Indonesian militant.
Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama was targeted for assassination by an Indonesian militant.PHOTO: THE JAKARTA POST

An Indonesian militant who planned to assassinate Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and also attack places of worship in Bogor city with homemade bombs has been sentenced to six years in jail.

Details that emerged during the sentencing hearing of Arif Hidayatullah on Monday (Oct 3) also confirmed his links to Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant who is believed to be currently fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

Bahrun has been tied to several domestic militant groups and a handful of terror-related incidents, including the Jan 14 attacks in Jakarta as well as a failed plot to launch a rocket from Batam at Marina Bay and a suicide bombing in Solo, Central Java, in July.

District Judge Siti Jamzanah yesterday said evidence indicated that Bahrun had given Arif instructions to procure explosives and other materials in order to assemble bombs for the attack.

Police investigations revealed that the two terrorists had communicated through a chat group on the Telegram messaging app.

Arif, who also goes by his nom de guerre Abu Musab, was targeting Mr Basuki, better known as Ahok, and places of worship in Bogor, which is south of Jakarta.

The hearing at a South Jakarta District Court revealed that Arif did not go ahead with the attacks because he was not confident that the homemade bombs would detonate.

But Judge Siti said she was convinced by the evidence that Arif had conspired to mount acts of terrorism with the bombs and "was fully aware" that the bombs would have caused destruction had they exploded.

Arif was arrested in a police raid on Dec 23, 2015 together with an Uighur named Ali, who had planned to carry out a suicide bombing.

Ali had been introduced to Arif by another militant named Nur Rohman. In July, Nur Rohman blew himself up at a police station in Solo.

Arif confessed that Nur Rohman was one of the two men who had escaped the Dec 23 raid, police said.

According to a source close to the investigations, Nur Rohman had built the bomb with instructions that Bahrun had sent via Telegram.

tkchan@sph.com.sg