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Indonesian Court Sentences Militant to 10 Years Over Terror-Related Charges

Arie Firdaus
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Suryadi Mas’ud gestures after a West Jakarta district court handed him a 10-year sentence on terrorism-related charges, Feb. 6, 2018.
Arie Firdaus/BenarNews

An Indonesian court convicted and sentenced a militant linked to the Islamic State (IS) to 10 years in prison Tuesday for smuggling handguns from the Philippines and being involved in funding terrorism and plotting attacks in Indonesia.

Suryadi Mas’ud (alias Abu Ridho), 45, a member of pro-IS Indonesian extremist group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), had purchased firearms in the Philippines for terrorist acts in his home country, chief judge Machri Hendra, who led a three-judge panel, told the West Jakarta District Court.

“What the defendant did has created public fear,” the judge said. On top of the 10-year sentence, the court ordered Suryadi to pay a fine of 50 million rupiah (about U.S. $3,690).

The defendant reacted to the verdict with a smile, then walked toward reporters who were clustered at the back of the courtroom, and said, “You all have to abide by Allah and repent. We are nearing the apocalypse.”

Suryadi then turned around, raised a finger and shouted “Allahu Akbar” [God is the greatest.]

“I accept [the verdict],” he told the judges.

His prison term matched the punishment sought by prosecutors.

Involved in 2002 bombing

The conviction is Suryadi’s third. In 2003, he was sentenced to eight years in prison for a bombing that killed three people and injured 11 at a McDonald’s in Makassar, South Sulawesi province, the year before.

During his sentencing in that case, prosecutors said Suryadi had facilitated the travel of Indonesians to the southern Philippines and helped them join insurgents fighting the Manila government.

He was released in April 2009 and arrested in 2010 by Densus 88, the Indonesian police anti-terror unit, for his alleged involvement in paramilitary training for the terrorist group Jamaah Islamiyah, the forerunner of JAD, in Aceh province. He was released in 2014.

In March 2017, Densus 88 arrested Suryadi in West Java for allegedly smuggling firearms from the southern Philippines into Indonesia.

The court said it had considered Suryadi’s previous crimes before handing down his latest sentence.

“The defendant has not shown any remorse,” judge Machri said.

Suryadi fought alongside the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebel group against Philippine security forces from 1996 to 2000, court documents said.

Suryadi paid Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines about $30,000 for 18 assault rifles and five handguns, but was able to smuggle only five handguns into Indonesia through North Sulawesi, prosecutors said.

His lawyer, Faris, who uses one name, told BenarNews his client did not plan to appeal.

“Although we did not get justice, all is back to the defendant, who already accepted the ruling,” he said.

Indonesian police have blamed JAD as the group responsible for a terrorist attack in central Jakarta that left eight people dead, including four perpetrators, in January 2016, in the first terror act claimed by IS in Southeast Asia.

Last year, as many as 156 suspected terrorists were caught in Indonesia and another 16 were shot and killed during police raids. Of those arrested, 76 people, including Suryadi, were put on trial and 10 were convicted, as of the end of December.

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