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Indonesia's al-Qaeda chief gets 10 years

Badri Hortono guilty of masterminding 2009 Jakarta hotel bombings

Indonesia's al-Qaeda chief gets 10 years

The hotel bomb attacks in 2009 killed nine people in Jakarta

Ferry H Djalur, Jakarta

June 27, 2013

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A Jakarta court on Thursday sentenced the leader of al-Qaeda Indonesia, Badri Hortono, to 10 years in prison for masterminding a series of bomb blasts including the 2009 attacks targeting high-end hotels in the capital.

After receiving a lighter sentence than the 14 years requested by prosecutors, Hartono’s lawyers said they would not appeal against the decision.

Chief Judge Musa Atif Aini said that in planning the 2009 attacks, Hartono had worked closely with Noordin Top, the Malaysia-born terrorist shot dead by police in 2009.

“Badri’s role was to provide financial assistance and a hiding place for Noordin, as well as providing for his daily needs,” he said reading out the verdict.

Nine people were killed and 53 injured – mainly foreigners – when bombs ripped through the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels in Central Jakarta in July, 2009.

Hartono, 45, was also behind bomb attacks on a church in central Java in September, 2011 and another on a police station in West Java in April, 2010 designed to draw attention away from a terrorist training camp in Poso in Sulawesi further northeast.

Anti-terror forces arrested Hartono and nine other terrorists during simultaneous raids across the country in September. Homemade bombs were found at his home in Solo, Central Java during the raid.

Terrorism expert Wawan Hadi Purwanto said that Hartono has played a crucial role in recruiting people to Jemaah Islamiyah, the Indonesian wing of al-Qaeda, which he said could continue despite Thursday’s sentence.

“The pattern he applies enables the emergence of new terrorists after his arrest or term behind bars,” he said.

Hundreds of terrorists linked to Hartono have evaded police manhunts on Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Nusa Tenggara, Purwanto added. 

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