CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 December 2018

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Death sentence for Indonesian terrorist mastermind

JAKARTA (UCAN): The South Jakarta District Court in Indonesia sentenced Aman Abdurrahman, a Muslim cleric, to death for a series planning a deadly series of attacks in Indonesia, including a bomb attack and shootout in Jakarta in January 2016 that killed eight people and an attack against the Batak Society Christian Church of Oikumene in Samarinda, East Kalimantan in November 2017 that killed four people.
 
Abdurrahman is the founder of a local terror group called Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.
 
He was also accused of masterminding the suicide bombings that rocked three churches in East Java in May, resulting in the death of 18 people.  
 
Although Abdurrahman has been in jail since 2010, authorities say the attacks were planned from within his cell.
 
“Aman Abdurrahman … is proven guilty of carrying out acts of terrorism … and deserves the death penalty,” head judge, Akhmad Jaini, said in reading out the sentence on June 22.
 
“There is nothing that can mitigate his punishment,” he added.
 
Police also believed Abdurahman’s group was behind a riot at a police detention centre on the outskirts of Jakarta on May 9 which resulted in the death of five guards and a detainee, and also responsible for a series of deadly attacks on police officers.
 
Azas Tigor Nainggolan of the Indonesian bishops’ Commission for Justice, Peace and Pastoral for Migrant-Itinerant People, said the death penalty was unacceptable since the punishment was inhumane.
 
He said, “This will not cut the chain of terrorism and radicalism. Instead, they (Islamists) will become more militant.”
 
The death sentence does not give room for people like Abdurrahman to repent and change their life, he explained.
 
He added that to overcome terrorism, the government must both give justice and overcome poverty because terrorism is caused by poverty and injustice.  
 
However, Denny Mahieu, a policeman injured in the January 2016 Jakarta attack said Abdurrahman deserved death.
 
“He masterminded attacks that ended and destroyed the lives of many people,” he said.    
 
Thirty-six-year-old Faisal Sartono, a Muslim who spoke to 0 outside the court, said the judges really had no alternative but to hand down the death sentence.
 
“He (Abdurrahman) is a very dangerous man and many people, including Muslims fell victim (to his schemes),” he said.

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