School head gets jail for terror links in Indonesia
TANGERANG AN INDONESIAN court on Wednesday jailed an Islamic boarding school head for 17 years for possessing more than two dozen home-made bombs and inciting terrorism. Abrory M Ali, who was the head of the Umar bin Khatab boarding school in West Nusa Tenggara province, eastern Indonesia, was arrested in July when some of his home-made bombs went off accidently, killing a school employee. Following the blast, police tried to raid the school but students attempted to stop them in a bid to prevent the discovery of the explosives and firearms. This prompted a three-day standoff during which the students, armed with machetes and swords, barricaded themselves inside. “The evidence during the trial showed that the defendant was guilty of having assembled 27 pipe bombs” and of collecting firearms, chief judge Iman Gultom told Tangerang district court on Jakarta’s outskirts. “He also spread deviated teaching about jihad to his students which caused the loss of people’s lives,” he added. One of his students has previously been sentenced to 15 years in jail for killing a police officer with a sword. Most of Indonesia’s 200 million Muslims are moderates, but the country has struggled to deal with a radical fringe of extremists who have carried out numerous attacks including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.