10-year sentence sought for female Indonesian militant

JAKARTA: An alleged would-be suicide bomber arrested one day before the planned bombing of a popular family attraction in the Indonesian capital should spend a decade in prison, prosecutors said yesterday. Dian Yulia Novi and her husband Nur Solihin were among four suspected militants arrested in December after police detected a plot to bomb a guard-changing ceremony at the presidential palace in Jakarta.

Chief prosecutor Juhana Nurhisyam told the East Jakarta District Court that Novi, a former migrant worker in Singapore and Taiwan who is nine months’ pregnant, admitted during her trial that she took orders from Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian with the Islamic State group in Syria accused of orchestrating several attacks in Indonesia. Police say Novi, 28, planned to detonate a 3-kilogram bomb that would have exploded as crowds of people gathered to watch the ceremony, a popular family attraction in Jakarta. “She has been convincingly proven guilty,” Nurhisyam said.

Novi said in a television interview after her arrest that she learned about jihad on social media and was influenced by articles written by Aman Abdurrahman, a radical cleric who police on Tuesday declared was the key suspect behind a suicide bombing and gun attack that killed eight people in Jakarta last year. Novi and her lawyers will respond to the prosecution’s case on Friday. One of the lawyers, Kasmi, who uses a single name, told The Associated Press that Novi didn’t become aware of her pregnancy until several weeks after being arrested.

IS-inspired militants have not made a big impact with their attacks in Indonesia because of effective counterterrorism policing, controls on gun ownership and lack of expertise in bomb making. But authorities fear that could change if Indonesians who fought with IS in the Middle East or in Marawi in the southern Philippines return home. In a separate trial at the same court, prosecutors are seeking five years in prison for Tutin, who is accused of radicalizing Novi and encouraging her to become a suicide bomber. She was also the person who introduced Novi to Solihin.

Solihin, the alleged leader of a small extremist cell in Central Java’s Solo city, told Indonesian TV following his arrest that he married Novi to facilitate her desire to become a suicide bomber. Prosecutors are requesting 15 years in prison for Solihin and eight years for a fourth suspected militant, Agus Supriadi. — AFP

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