The husband of Indonesia’s first would-be suicide bomber was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years in prison for his role in masterminding a failed attempt to attack the Presidential Palace in Jakarta in December 2016.
A three-judge panel of the East Jakarta District Court handed the term to Islamic State-linked militant Muhammad Nur Solikin, 27, whose wife, would-be bomber Dian Yulia Novi, 28, was sentenced last month to 7½ years for the plot to carry out a suicide bombing during a changing-of-the-guard ceremony outside the State Palace. Her sentencing on Aug. 25 was about a week before her due date to give birth.
“I had not known that she was already pregnant [at the time of the planned attack],” Solikin told BenarNews before the hearing. Dian gave birth on Aug. 29, according to Indonesian media reports.
They were arrested along with militant Agus Supriyadi on Dec. 10, 2016, on the eve of their planned attack using a pressure-cooker bomb.
Also on Wednesday, Agus was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for helping rent a car to transport the pressure-cooker bomb from Solikin’s place in Karang Anyar, Central Java province, to Jakarta.
Indonesia’s special anti-terror squad Densus 88 arrested Solikin and Agus in East Jakarta after they surveyed the location of their planned attack. Earlier, the squad arrested Dian in her rented room in the West Java city of Bekasi, located about an hour from Jakarta, and found the pressure-cooker bomb.
The court issued a stiffer sentence to Solikin, the leader of a small IS cell in Central Java’s city of Solo, than his wife because he served as the mastermind. His sentence was shorter than the 15 years sought by prosecutors.
Defendant Agus Supriyadi enters the East Jakarta District Court to hear his sentence for his role in a failed suicide bombing, Sept. 20, 2017. (Arie Firdaus/BenarNews)
At the same hearing, Agus, who received a sentence shorter than the eight years sought by prosecutors, did not react as calmly as Solikin when responding to the three-judge panel’s verdict at the East Jakarta District Court.
Leaving the courtroom with his fist in the air, Agus shouted “God is Great” after Chief Judge Syafrudin Ainor Rafiek asked for his response to the verdict.
“Like it or not, I have to accept this. But I just want to remind you that whoever do cruel things will receive God’s revenge,” Agus said.
Kamsi, the lawyer for both defendants, said his clients accepted the verdicts.
“He [Solikin] has also admitted his act,” said Kamsi, who uses one name.
The panel found both men guilty of violating Indonesia’s anti-terror law.
In addition, Syafrudin said a conspiracy charge against Solikin was proven through Telegram message exchanges with Bahrun Naim, a leading Indonesian IS leader who was believed to be in Syria. The IS leader instructed Solikin to ensure the bomb was in Jakarta on Dec. 10, one day before the planned attack.
“So, it is true that there is an evil conspiracy, and the use of violence in the terror act committed by the defendant,” Syafrudin said.
Solikin took on Dian as his second wife because a fatwa issued by IS required women to have permission of their fathers or husbands “to carry out any activities outside their home – even for worshipping, including by becoming a martyr,” according to a report published earlier this year by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), a Jakarta think-tank.
The criminal indictment stated the goal of the marriage was to allow Dian to blow herself up in a suicide attack, something she had planned while working as a migrant in Taiwan in 2015.
A second woman, Tutin Sugiarti, was sentenced previously to 3½ years in prison, less than the five years sought by prosecutors, for recruiting Dian and introducing her to Solikin.