Home-grown militant behind bomb used in Jakarta attack jailed 10 years

Dodi Suridi (centre) standing near his lawyer during his trial in Jakarta on Oct 20, 2016.
Dodi Suridi (centre) standing near his lawyer during his trial in Jakarta on Oct 20, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

JAKARTA - The Indonesian militant behind the home-made bombs used by terrorists during the Jan 14 attack in downtown Jakarta was jailed 10 years by a West Jakarta court on Thursday (Oct 20).

This after police traced debris from a 3kg gas canister, used as the bomb casing found near the police post at the intersection where the attack took place, to 23-year-old Dodi Suridi.

A second suspect, Ali Hamka, 47, who tried to acquire firearms for the strike was jailed four years.

Both men were not at the scene of the brazen siege on the capital which left eight people, including the four perpetrators, dead.

But prosecutors said evidence, including remnants of the improvised explosive devices (IED) recovered after the strike, indicated that they had played critical roles in the preparation for the attack.

Dodi and Ali Hamka are the first suspects linked to the incident in January to be convicted for the crime.

Both are from domestic terror cells in West Java, a hotbed for militant activity in Indonesia. The two homegrown militants had also pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sometime last year.

"I accept (the sentence), this is the risk of being a terrorist. Allah is Great," said Dodi after presiding judge Achmad Fauzi meted out his punishment.

The Jan 14 attack was mounted by the "Jakarta Four" terrorist cell of Sunakim alias Afif, Muhammad Ali, Dian Juni Kurniadi and Ahmad Muhazin, using pistols as well as home-made bombs and grenades.

They were identified by police as members of separate domestic extremist groups in Indonesia that were consolidated by radical ideologue Aman Abdurrahman under the Jemaah Anshar Khilafah terror network sometime last year.

The Jakarta Four died at the scene of the attack but a police Explosive Ordinance Disposal officer later recovered from Muhammad Ali's bag an IED, that was 40cm long and 15cm in diameter.

While Ali Hamkah was identified as the man who tried to supply firearms to the attackers, Dodi was said to have acquired the explosive materials to make IEDs.

Details in court documents revealed that Dodi was told by Sunakim during a gathering of militants that the bombs were needed for an attack on either the Russian or Iranian embassy in Jakarta.

The meeting, believed to have taken place sometime in November last year in Tegal, Central, was where Dodi first encountered Sunakim, Ali, and four other militants.

Dodi, who also uses the aliases Ibnu Arsad, Yayan and Dodi Dabiq, was arrested at his home in Cirebon, West Java on Jan 15 - a day after the Jakarta attack.

The Straits Times understands that Dodi is a member of an extremist group in Cirebon formed by Bahrumsyah, an Indonesian militant believed to be in the Middle East fighting alongside ISIS forces.

Some intelligence analysts as well as confidential sources have said Bahrumsyah may have ordered the strike in Jakarta in January, but National Police chief Tito Karnavian had said it was directed by Bahrun Naim, another Indonesian militant who has also joined ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.

Indonesia has experienced a string of attacks by homegrown militants loyal to ISIS in recent months following the Jakarta attack in January.

The National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) on Wednesday said Indonesia recorded 69 terror attacks since 1999.

"Most of the terror attacks were targeted at vital installations and public places similar to those in western countries," BNPT deputy chief for prevention, protection and deradicalisation, Major General Abdul Rahman Kadir told Antara news.

The latest occurred on Thursday morning when a self-proclaimed ISIS supporter attacked two officers at a police post in Tangerang, about an hour's drive from Jakarta.

The suspect, an unemployed 21-year-old who was armed with knives, was shot by a third police officer in the foot and abdomen. and later died on route to a hospital.

A police spokesman said two knives and two items resembling pipe-bombs were seized from the scene as part of its investigations.