JAKARTA – An alleged ideologue of terror organization Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, linked to the Islamic State, went on trial on Thursday for his role in a 2016 attack in the Indonesian capital.
The cleric, Oman Rohman, popularly known as Aman Abdurrahman, was one of the founders of the organization, which has been the most active radical Islamist group in Indonesia in the last two years.
The 2016 attack in Jakarta had killed eight people, including the four attackers, and more than 20 people were injured.
The accused appeared for the first hearing with a court-appointed lawyer after he refused to appoint one to defend himself.
The court in the southern district of Jakarta can hand out a death penalty for his involvement in the attack carried out in January 2016 close to a shopping mall in the capital.
Abdurrahman has already served several sentences for terrorist activities, including a 9-year prison term for running a training camp for militants in Aceh, the Indonesian province situated on the island of Sumatra, and the only province in the country to be governed by Sharia law, due to the special autonomy that it enjoys.
The cleric, who swore loyalty to the IS from prison, should have been released in August 2017, but was put in preventive detention as a suspect in the 2016 attack and other cases.
Sidney Jones, Director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, told EFE that the result of the trial could depend on the testimony provided by Zainal Anshori, operational leader of the JAD, who was sentenced to seven years in prison on Monday.
JAD was established in 2015 and in January 2017 the United States State Department designated it as a global terrorist group.
Jones said that JAD cells started acting independently after the 2017 arrest of Anshori and other important leaders of the organization.
Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country, has witnessed several Islamist attacks, including one on the island of Bali in 2002 that had left 202 dead, mostly foreign tourists.