Three Indonesians radicalized by the teachings of a firebrand Muslim cleric were sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for involvement in a terror plot.
A Jakarta court found Muhammad Iqbal, Helmi Wardani and Kurnia Widodo guilty of violating anti-terrorism laws by making bombs and exploding them in trial runs for a terrorist attack. It said they gleaned their bomb-making knowledge from the Internet.
Presiding Judge Mustofa said the men were influenced by the preaching of Aman Abdurrahman, a radical cleric who was sentenced to nine years in prison in December for involvement in a militant training camp in westernmost Aceh province.
Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has battled militants with links to al-Qaida since 2002, when extremists bombed a nightclub district on Bali island, killing 202 people, most of them foreigners. A security crackdown since then has seen hundreds of militants killed or captured and convicted.
Mustofa said the three men, all in their thirties, were highly educated with no history of militancy until becoming radicalized through their participation in Islamic study at a mosque in West Java that was a base for Abdurrahman.
He said they planned to target police and local officials whom they considered their main enemy because of the government's support for the U.S.-led fight against terrorism.