A court in the Indonesian capital on Thursday convicted and sentenced an Islamic State-inspired militant and his wife to 12 years and nine years in prison, respectively, following their convictions for a stabbing rampage last year that injured the country’s then-security minister.
Syahrial Alamsyah, 51, and Fitri Diana, 20, were found guilty of criminal conspiracy and using violence to instill terror during the October 2019 attack on then-Minister Wiranto and two other people who accompanied him during a working visit in Pandeglang, a town in Banten province.
“Based on expert testimony, what the defendants did was an act of terrorism,” West Jakarta District Court chief judge Masrizal ruled while issuing the court’s verdict during the remote session.
Syahrial, also known as Abu Rara, attended the hearing remotely from a detention center in Bogor, just south of Jakarta.
The couple said they accepted the verdicts and would not appeal. The sentences were lighter than the prosecutors’ request of 16 and 12 years.
“In the name of God, I accept it wholeheartedly,” Syahrial said.
The judges also ordered the state to pay compensation to Wiranto and another stabbing victim, Fuad Syauqi, in the amount of 37 million rupiah (U.S. $2,600) and 28.22 million rupiah ($1,986), respectively.
Also sentenced was Syahrial’s accomplice, Samsudin, to five years for taking part in a conspiracy to target foreign workers in Banten. No attacks occurred.
Wiranto, who was then coordinator minister for security, legal and political affairs, was stepping out of a car in Pandeglang on Oct. 10, when the couple armed with knives attacked him and two other people, the indictment said.
Wiranto, 73, suffered two deep wounds in the stomach and required surgery. He has since recovered.
The attack was witnessed by villagers including children who had gathered to welcome Wiranto, a former armed forces chief. Videos of the incident circulated on social media soon after the stabbing.
Islamic State link
The indictment said the couple were linked to Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a local militant network linked with Islamic State (IS).
The indictment also accused Syahrial and Fitri of involving a child in terrorism, by allegedly bringing their 12-year-old daughter to the attack.
The court heard that Syahrial had pledged allegiance to IS in October 2018 in East Java province and had diligently followed online lectures by Aman Abdurrahman, the JAD founder and chief ideologue who was sentenced to death in 2018 for orchestrating a series of terrorist attacks.
Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, has been hit by a string of terrorist attacks since the early 2000s, with more recent strikes blamed on IS-affiliated militants.
Authorities blame militants for the country’s deadliest terror attack – the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people – and several other deadly blasts.