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Top Indonesian terror suspect goes on trial

Top Indonesian terror suspect goes on trial

One of Indonesia's top terrorism suspects went on trial Wednesday on charges of helping set up a militant network that was plotting Mumbai-style attacks on foreigners at luxury hotels and embassies in the capital.
Abdullah Sunata, 32, was arrested in June during a series of police raids in Central Java province.
Prosecutors told the East Jakarta District Court he allegedly helped set up a jihadi training camp in westernmost Aceh province and procure M-16 assault rifles, revolvers and other weapons for the group.
They said Sunata _ released from prison just last year after serving time for other terror-related crimes _ should face the maximum penalty of death.
His lawyers did not immediately respond.
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, was thrust onto the front lines of terrorism in 2002, when al-Qaida-linked militants bombed two crowded nightclubs on the resort island of Bali, killing 202 people, many of them foreign tourists.
There have been several attacks since then, but all have been far less deadly, and the last was more than one year ago.
Just as experts were saying Indonesia's threat level was significantly reduced, authorities discovered the previously unknown group "Al Qaida in Aceh," raising new alarms.
It allegedly had links to militants with ties to the Middle East and the Philippines.
Speaking to reporters ahead of his trial, Sunata denied the group had plans to kill President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for cracking down on Islamic militants, or to attack Westerners in Jakarta.
"Yes some members of the group discussed this," he said. "But it wasn't our policy. We had never made any decisions on this."
Sunata is one of more than 80 alleged members of the terror cell to have been captured or killed since February. In the last few days, 13 of those men have been sentenced to prison terms of between five to nine years.
Judges adjourned the trial until next week, when Sunata's lawyers are due to respond to the charges.


Updated : 2021-08-03 08:55 GMT+08:00