Indonesian militant jailed over Philippines arms smuggling

JAKARTA — An Indonesian court on Tuesday jailed a militant for ten years for buying a cache of firearms from the Philippines’ biggest Muslim rebel group for attacks on home soil.

Suryadi Mas’ud, 45, was found guilty of a range of offenses — including planning a terrorist act and procuring weapons — by a panel of three judges at the West Jakarta district court.

The sentencing has highlighted the strong links between militants in Indonesia and the Philippines and comes amid heightened fears about attacks inspired by Daesh (the so-called IS) in Southeast Asia.

Suryadi — who accepted the verdict — raised one finger into the air and shouted “Allah-u Akbar” (“God is greatest”) after he was sentenced on Tuesday.

He was ordered to pay a fine of Rp 50 million ($3,700) on top of a ten-year prison sentence.

Suryadi first traveled to the Philippines from Indonesia in 2015 at the request of death-row inmate Iwan Darmawan, who is awaiting execution for his part in the 2004 bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta, the court heard.

While there, Suryadi met with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the city of Davao, where he paid $30,000 via a Western Union account for 18 assault rifles and five handguns.

Just under a year later, he bought another 12 M-16 rifles from the group, again at the request of Darmawan, the court heard.

The weapons were then used in attacks in Indonesia, prosecutors said.

Authorities in Indonesia have been on heightened alert following a wave of recent Daesh-inspired attacks and plots.

Many militants from Indonesia — which has long struggled with militancy — in recent years traveled to join Daesh in Syria and the Philippines city of Marawi. — AFP