Bicycle Bomb Attack ‘Blown Out of Proportion,’ Lawyer Says

The Jakarta Globe

A man who allegedly attempted to detonate a bicycle bomb at a police station in nearby Bekasi could face the death penalty on terrorism charges brought against him on Tuesday.

In the opening trial at the East Jakarta District Court, the prosecutor accused defendant Ahmad Abdul Rabani of having tried to kill himself, along with Adj. Comr. Hendry Azhari and Second Brig. Sugianto, with his bicycle bomb in September.

He was planning to detonate the bomb at a police post near Sumber Artha Market in Kalimalang, Bekasi, where the two policemen were stationed. However, the bomb went off early.

Ahmad, a drifter who moved from one mosque to another since coming to Jakarta from Aceh in April, suffered serious injuries to his face, neck and torso from the blast and broke his right arm and leg.

Trimo, the prosecutor, told reporters after the hearing presided over by Judge Jailili Sairin that Ahmad had put other people’s lives in danger and spread terror by detonating the bicycle bomb.

He was charged with violating Article 6 of the 2003 Terror Law, as the fact that he “made a low-explosive bomb” had led to “safety concerns among people in the area.”

Although there were no other victims in the blast, Trimo said Ahmad could still face the death penalty because he committed an act of terrorism against officers of the law.

In the indictment read out in court, Trimo said Ahmad held a grudge against the police after reading a number of news reports about police officers arresting Muslim terror suspects.

“It built up anger inside him and as a result he wanted to take revenge,” the indictment said.

With Rp 150,000 ($17), Ahmad went to buy ingredients to make a bomb and spent five days looking for a place where police officers were present in order to blow himself up there, Trimo said.

“His motive [for the bombing attempt] was to take revenge on police officers,” he stressed.

Two suicide notes were found after the explosion.

One read: “This bomb is for all you kafir [infidels]! We will come chasing after you even if you run up to the clouds. Your death is certain. The mujahideen are still alive in Indonesia!”

Trimo cited a doctor who had examined Ahmad, Henny Riana, as saying the defendant was suffering from mental health problems, causing depression. Ahmad had lost his family in the tsunami that struck Aceh in 2004.

The doctor, however, said the defendant could still be held responsible for his deeds.

Ahmad’s lawyer, Kisworo, from the White Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Putih), said he plans to question the use of the East Jakarta District Court for the trial of an alleged crime committed in Bekasi.

He will also study the indictment thoroughly, he added.

“The indictment seems to blow things out of proportion. Therefore, we need to take a look a t it again,” he added.

For security reasons, Ahmad was escorted by 40 police officers to and from the court.

Judge Jailili adjourned the trial until next Tuesday.

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