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Jakarta Post

University of Indonesia’s woods training ground for terrorists in 2004: Witness

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 6, 2018   /   04:48 pm
University of Indonesia’s woods training ground for terrorists in 2004: Witness Authorities escort radical cleric Aman Abdurrahman (second right) as he arrives at the South Jakarta District Court on Feb. 15, for his first appearance over his alleged role in the 2016 suicide bombing on Jl. MH Thamrin, Central Jakarta. (AFP/Bay Ismoyo)

The woods of the University of Indonesia (UI) campus in Depok, West Java, were the training ground of convicted terrorist Aman Abdurrahman in 2004, one of his followers told the South Jakarta District Court on Tuesday.

The follower, Saiful Munthohir, was a witness in the follow-up trial of the January 2016 Thamrin suicide bombing in Central Jakarta.

“Ustadz [cleric] Aman was my associate in the training, I was the organizer,” said Saiful as quoted by, referring to unarmed physical training as opposed to weapons training.

According to Saiful, 20 people went through the training, which was done in broad daylight in view of passing university students.

“The training was done because we needed to learn from the altercations in Ambon and Poso, where Muslims were victims but did not receive protection from the state,” said Saiful, referring to former bloody communal conflict areas in Ambon, the capital city of Maluku, and Poso in Central Sulawesi.

Aman and Saiful’s connection was uncovered during a previous trial. Saiful was said to have visited Aman at the Nusa Kambangan maximum security prison in Cilacap, Central Java, where the radical cleric has been serving time since 2010 on terrorism charges.

Saiful was told of the terrorism plans for Jl. MH Thamrin, Central Jakarta, for which he was to find a field coordinator.

Aman, who is also a supporter of the Islamic State (IS) movement, is also facing another trial on the 2017 Kampung Melayu twin suicide bombings in East Jakarta. (jlm)