World

Indonesia couple with ISIS links jailed for trying to kill minister

JAKARTA: An Indonesian couple with links to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who tried to assassinate the country's chief security minister was jailed yesterday.

A Jakarta court handed a 12-year sentence to Syahrial Alamsyah, 51, and nine years to his wife Fitria Diana, 21, after convicting them on terrorism charges for trying to kill then Security Minister Wiranto in October last year.

The sentences were below prosecutors' demands for a 16-year and 12-year term, respectively.

But the court rejected the couple's defence that they were solely motivated by anti-government sentiment, ruling that Alamsyah belonged to a local extremist group allied to ISIS.

A third defendant was sentenced to five years on terror charges linked to a separate attack planned with Alamsyah last year.

The trial had heard that Alamsyah stabbed the now 73-year-old Wiranto as he exited a car during a visit to Pandeglang regency on Java island.

Alamsyah and his wife, who injured a member of Mr Wiranto's entourage, were wrestled to the ground by security personnel.

Mr Wiranto sustained knife wounds to his abdomen but survived the attack, in which several others were also injured.

Days before the assassination attempt, the pair pledged allegiance to late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the court said.

Alamsyah was a member of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, an ISIS-linked extremist group responsible for a string of attacks, including suicide bombings at churches in Surabaya in 2018 that killed a dozen people.

The couple were radicalised through rhetoric on social media and watching videos of Muslims fighting in Syria. They also listened to speeches by jailed firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, believed to be behind the 2002 Bali bombings, and Aman Abdurrahman, who was sentenced to death for masterminding gun and suicide attacks in Jakarta in 2016. - AFP

WORLD