Seven men jailed over terrorist plot

AN Indonesian court has sentenced seven men involved in a terror cell known as al-Qaeda in Aceh, which plotted to kill Westerners, to jail terms of up to eight years.

The court heard that the group, which was believed to be training to carry out Mumbai-style attacks by small groups of suicide gunmen, had also targeted political figures in the capital Jakarta.

Two men involved in a shooting that wounded German Red Cross staffer Erhard Bauer in Aceh last year, received the stiffest punishment of eight years in jail.

The two, Andri Marlan Syahputra and Chairul Fuadi, were also found guilty of taking part in a shooting of a house rented by two US student teachers and a grenade attack at the United Nations office in the provincial capital.

“Syahputra was found guilty of committing a terrorist act,” Judge Mirdin Alamsyah told a Jakarta court, adding that Fuadi had assisted the gunmen in tracking the Red Cross worker’s car.

In separate trials, the court sentenced five men to jail terms of between five and seven years for attending the cell’s training camp and possessing illegal firearms.

The sentences were lighter than the 12 years sought by prosecutors and the maximum death penalty for terror offences.

Hundreds of suspected militants have been arrested or killed in connection with the Aceh network, including its alleged spiritual leader and financier Abu Bakar Bashir, a well-known radical cleric.

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