Unrepentant Failed Suicide Bomber Gets Light Sentence

The Jakarta Globe


A would-be suicide bomber who botched his attack on an Indonesian police post last year and lived to tell the story was jailed for five and a half years on Tuesday. 

The sentence handed down to Ahmad Abdul Rabani, 38, was two and a half years lighter than the eight-year jail term recommended by prosecutors. 

They had originally sought the death penalty. 

The East Jakarta District Court ruled Ahmad had acted with intent in attempts to kill two Bekasi Police officers with a crude bomb in September. The bomb, however, detonated prematurely, leaving Ahmad with serious injuries, including a broken leg and arm. 

Ahmad was unrepentant. 

“I do not regret what I did. I will accept all the consequences that come my way,” he said. “What I have done is done.” 

The homemade bomb with which Ahmad tried to kill the officers at a traffic police post in Kalimalang was mounted on the back seat of bicycle. 

Ahmad, a drifter who moved from one mosque to another after coming to Jakarta from Aceh in April, tried to kill himself, along with Adj. Comr. Hendry Azhari and Second Brig. Sugianto, with his bicycle bomb. 

Presiding judge H.B.J. Nasution said Ahmad was found guilty for specific reasons. 

“Although Ahmad did not kill anybody, he did put other people’s lives in danger and spread terror by detonating the bicycle bomb,” he said. 

The judge also said mitigating factors were considered for Ahmad, saying he confessed to his actions and was honest during the course of the trial. 

“He admitted that he had built the bomb to take revenge on police officers for arresting Muslim terror suspects,” the judge said. 

“He also admitted that he made the bomb by himself and that he spent as much as Rp 200,000 [$23] in the process.” 

Outside the court, Trimo, one of the prosecutors, told reporters that the prosecution would consider appealing the sentence. 

Ahmad, who has lost his entire family in the 2004 Aceh tsunami, said he did not know where he would go when he was released as he did not have any family or friends in Jakarta. 

“I am just going to start my life all over again. I do not know yet what I am going to do exactly,” he said. 

When questioned about the Indonesian Islamic State (NII) movement, Ahmad said Indonesia should be run according to Shariah law. 

“[An Islamic state] would be ideal for Indonesia. I do not like the current state of affairs in Indonesia. It just doesn’t fit my beliefs. A good country is an Islamic country,” he said. 

Two suicide notes were found after Ahmad had set off his bike-bomb. 

One of them 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!”

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