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Indonesian radicals jailed for role in Islamic State training, recruitment

Jakarta: An Indonesian meatball seller who claimed he was lured to join Islamic State in Syria by the promise of a large payment will serve three years behind bars.

The 33-year-old was one of seven Indonesians sentenced in the West Jakarta district court on Tuesday for involvement with IS.

'Before Islam, I am right': Abu Bakar Bashir

Radical Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir says his illegal actions were 'not wrong' but were 'following Allah's order', during his appeal over a 15 year sentence for supporting a militant training camp in Aceh.

Ahmad Junaedi, a meatball seller from Malang in East Java, spent 24 days in Syria, where he participated in military training using AK-47s and learned how to assemble weapons.

Junaedi had earlier claimed he was promised a large payment by Abu Jandal, one of the Indonesian IS leaders in Syria, but returned home because he felt cheated.

Meatball seller Ahmad Junaedi was sentenced to three years' jail for taking part in military training with Islamic State.
Meatball seller Ahmad Junaedi was sentenced to three years' jail for taking part in military training with Islamic State. Photo: Tatan Syuflana

Another Indonesian, Tuah Febriwansyah, also known as Muhammad Fachry, was sentenced to five years' jail for encouraging people to join IS online.

In March 2014, Fachry reportedly participated in a rally at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout in Jakarta, where he declared his support for IS. He was accused of creating the radical site almustaqbal.net, which disseminated news on IS.

The judge said he had distributed information online, including videos and articles, that could create a feeling of terror, were intimidating and could inspire others to join IS.

Koswara, a 28-year-old former drug courier, was sentenced to four years for buying plane tickets and organizing visas for Indonesians travelling to Syria in 2014 and 2015.

Tuah Febriwansyah, also known as Muhammad Fachry, was sentenced to five years' jail for online activities encouraging ...
Tuah Febriwansyah, also known as Muhammad Fachry, was sentenced to five years' jail for online activities encouraging people to join Islamic State. Photo: Tatan Syuflana

Koswara had previously told the court he he attended religious classes conducted by convicted militants whole serving time in a Jakarta prison for drug offences.

Last year coordinating minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Luhut Panjaitan, said the Indonesian government had decided to build separate jails for terrorists to isolate them from the rest of the prison community.

"I am innocent in the eyes of Islam": Abu Bakar Bashir on the last day of his appeal hearing.
"I am innocent in the eyes of Islam": Abu Bakar Bashir on the last day of his appeal hearing.  Photo: Amilia Rosa

"We'll have three types of prisons later on: prison for terrorists, prison for drug offenders and regular prisons," Mr Panjaitan said in November.

Helmi Muhammad Alamudi, was sentenced to three years and six months' jail. The court heard Helmi assisted Indonesians to travel to Syria from June 2014, including ordering plane tickets. He also stayed in an IS camp in Syria for two weeks, where he worked as a guard for two hours a day.

Three other men were sentenced to between three and four years' jail.

Up to 500 Indonesians are estimated to have left for Syria, although some have been arrested and deported while trying to cross the Turkish border and some are women and children.

Meanwhile radical Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir appeared at a court in Cilacap, central Java, for the final day of his application for a judicial review into his 15-year sentence.

The 77-year-old is considered to be the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah, which was responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

His conviction for conspiracy over the Bali bombings was quashed but he was jailed for 15 years in 2011 for supporting a militant training camp in Aceh.

In court on Tuesday, Bashir said he admitted guilt and fully realised he would spend time in prison. However he denied being the financial backer of the militant training camp in Aceh and said his role had merely been to provide assistance.

"I am guilty in the eyes of the government but I am innocent in the eyes of Islam," he said.

Bashir's lawyer, Ahmad Michdan, said his client should receive less than three years' jail to reflect the small role he played.

The Supreme Court will now rule on whether to allow the judicial review.

with Amilia Rosa, Karuni Rompies