Indonesian preacher gets 9 years' jail for inciting suicide bomb attack in Jakarta

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JAKARTA - A Muslim preacher was on Monday (April 9) sentenced to nine years in jail by an Indonesian court for inciting the suicide bombing in East Jakarta in May last year that killed three policemen.

Kiki Muhammad Iqbal, 38, had been charged with inciting others to commit an act of terrorism by delivering a sermon in a Bandung mosque on May 19, 2017, on how "mati syahid" - meaning "to die as a martyr" - is the ultimate goal of every good Muslim.

The message from former terrorist bomb-maker Kiki was allegedly directed at Ahmad Sukri and Ikhwan Nur Salam, the two men who died while mounting a suicide bomb attack near a bus station in Jakarta on May 24, 2017.

"The defendant has validly and convincingly been proven guilty of planning and inciting others to commit an act of terror," presiding judge Purwanto told the courtroom in North Jakarta District Court on Monday.

After the verdict was read out, Kiki told reporters outside the courtroom: "It's an unfair and tyrannical verdict."

Kiki's lawyer Kamsi said he will notify the court in a week's time whether his client intends to appeal against the verdict.

Inciting others to commit an act of terrorism is a crime in Indonesia punishable by death or life imprisonment.

Besides killing three policemen, the attack by the two men at the Transjakarta bus shelter in Kampung Melayu left 11 others injured, including a 17-year-old driver and 19-year-old student.

Kiki was arrested on June 5 in Sumedang, a regency located about two hours from Bandung by car, after police established a link between him and the two attackers.

He was a student of radical cleric Aman Abdurrahman, the leader of the Jemaah Ansharut Daulah, an alliance of Indonesian militants who have pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.

Aman, in an ongoing separate trial, has been accused of inciting others to commit various terror attacks in Indonesia including the attack in Jakarta in January 2016, which left four bystanders dead, in what was the first incident claimed by ISIS in South-east Asia.

In 2010, Kiki was arrested for being a member of a terrorist cell in West Java known as "the Cibiru bomb group" and sentenced to six years in jail for terrorism-related offences a year later. After his recent release, Kiki refused to undergo a deradicalisation programme conducted by the National Counter-terrorism Agency.

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