On Friday (22/06) the South Jakarta District Court sentenced Aman Abdurrahman to death as he has been found guilty of masterminding terrorist attacks in Indonesia, including the Thamrin (Central Jakarta) suicide bombings and shootings in early 2016 as well as the Kampung Melayu bombing in East Jakarta in 2017. Abdurrahman is the leader of the Jamaah Anshar Daulah (JAD), one of the local terrorist networks that is affiliated with Islamic State (IS).
Although Abdurrahman has been imprisoned since 2010 (for his involvement in the Aceh training camp where several militant groups gathered to prepare terrorist attacks) he managed to order a number of attacks from behind bars. Abdurrahman, however, pleaded not guilty, saying he did inspire his followers to travel to Syria to join the fight with IS but did not order any attacks in Indonesia.
After the panel of five judges announced the sentence Abdurrahman bowed down and kissed the floor. Since the start of the trial he has refused to recognize the authority of the court (and rejects the secular Indonesian government as well). That is also the reason why Abdurrahman does not have the desire to appeal. Based on Indonesian law his defense team has seven days to file an appeal.
Terrorism is again dominating the headlines in Indonesian media since the vicious church and police stations bombings in Surabaya and Pekanbaru in early May 2018. The Surabaya suicide bombings were conducted by families that were part of the Surabaya cell of the JAD network. A new phenomenon was born at these attacks: whole families (including their little children) committed the suicide attack together.
JAD is not believed to be a coherent organization. It seems to form an umbrella organization consisting of various cells that have pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In Indonesia terrorist networks now tend to keep it small - through various cells - to make it difficult for Indonesia's counter-terrorism squad (Densus 88) to trace the militants.
Read more: Overview of Radical Islam in Indonesia
Abdurrahman's death sentence does mean that the threat of new attacks in Indonesia rises as his followers may be looking for revenge. Primary targets would be police officers. However, churches and crowded places such as bus stations or malls could also be on militants' target list.
According to data from Amnesty International there are now 288 inmates on death row in Indonesia. Most of them received the death sentence for drugs-related crimes.
Overview of Aman Abdurrahman's Militant Life:
|March 2004||Abdurrahman's name comes on the radar after an explosion occurred at his rented house in Cimanggis (West Java)|
|February 2005||He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment after having been found guilty of being involved in the making of the bomb that exploded at the rented house in Cimanggis in March 2004. After having spent about five years in the Cipinang Prison (East Jakarta) he was free to go|
|December 2010||Abdurrahman was sentenced to nine years in prison for his involvement in a military training camp in Aceh. At this camp various militant groups gathered to prepare attacks on the government, police, and other "infidels". This time he was imprisoned in Nusakambangan (Central Java) until 12 August 2017|
|January 2016||Terrorist attacks (suicide bombs and shootings) occurred around Sarinah in Central Jakarta. Four civilians were killed. Although Abdurrahman was imprisoned in Nusakambangan at this time, he allegedly masterminded the attack|
|November 2016||A bomb exploded in a church Samarinda, killing one little girl. Abdurrahman allegedly taught the perpetrators how to make the bomb|
|May 2017||A bomb exploded near the Kampung Melayu bus station in East Jakarta, killing three police officers. Abdurrahman is suspected to have masterminded this attack|
|August 2017||Although Abdurrahman's prison sentence was about to end he was arrested in his prison cell by Densus 88 for his involvement in the Central Jakarta attack in January 2016. He was transferred to a high security detention center in Depok (West Java)|
|May 2018||At the South Jakarta District Court, Indonesian prosecutors demanded the death sentence for Abdurrahman over the January 2016 attacks in Central Jakarta|
|June 2018||Abdurrahman was sentenced to death by the South Jakarta District Court|