Indonesian woman who used to work in Singapore jailed for suicide bomb plot at Jakarta palace

This picture taken on Dec 11, 2016 shows Dian Yulia Novi, one of two former domestic workers who volunteered to become suicide bombers in Jakarta and Bali.
This picture taken on Dec 11, 2016 shows Dian Yulia Novi, one of two former domestic workers who volunteered to become suicide bombers in Jakarta and Bali.PHOTO: AFP
Dian Yulia Novi, 28, was arrested late last year on suspicion of plotting to blow herself up outside Jakarta's presidential palace during the changing of the guard.
Dian Yulia Novi, 28, was arrested late last year on suspicion of plotting to blow herself up outside Jakarta's presidential palace during the changing of the guard. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TVONE INTERVIEW
Dian Yulia Novi, 28, was arrested late last year on suspicion of plotting to blow herself up outside Jakarta's presidential palace during the changing of the guard.
Dian Yulia Novi, 28, was arrested late last year on suspicion of plotting to blow herself up outside Jakarta's presidential palace during the changing of the guard. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TVONE INTERVIEW

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - A Jakarta court has sentenced a female would-be suicide bomber to 7½ years in prison, prosecutors and her lawyer said. This is the first time a woman has been convicted in Indonesia for planning such an attack.

Dian Yulia Novi, 28, was arrested late last year on suspicion of plotting to blow herself up outside Jakarta's presidential palace during the changing of guard. She was arrested along with her husband Muhamad Nur Solikin.

Novi used to work in Singapore and Taiwan as a domestic helper. She was in Singapore between 2008 and 2009.

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, has seen a surge in homegrown militancy inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and has grappled with a series of small-scale attacks in the past two years.

Prosecutors had demanded a 10-year sentence for Novi, who they said received instructions to carry out the attack from Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant believed to be fighting with the ISIS in Syria.

"Her sentence was reduced because she admitted to her actions," Novi's lawyer Kamsi told Reuters on Monday (Aug 28).

He said the verdict was handed down by East Jakarta District Court on Aug 25.

Judges delivered the verdict earlier than expected because Novi is pregnant and due to give birth in early September, her lawyer said. She is detained at a Jakarta area facility.

Her husband is on trial for the same plot. His next hearing, at which he is expected to enter a plea, is scheduled for Sept 6.

Kamsi said Novi, who was believed to have been radicalised through social media while employed as a domestic worker in Taiwan, did not intend to appeal against her verdict.

The police said they intercepted a letter that she intended to send to her parents, stating her intention to carry out an act of terror. Later, an unexploded bomb was found in a room the woman had rented in Bekasi, about an hour outside Jakarta.

Counter-terrorism forces are worried that militants may be using new and more sophisticated tactics to try and carry out attacks - like recruiting female suicide bombers or using dangerous chemicals to make "dirty bombs".