JAKARTA, Feb 9 (Reuters) – An Indonesian court on Tuesday handed down prison terms to seven men accused of supporting Daesh amid a security crackdown on the militant group’s suspected sympathizers in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.
Indonesia has been on high alert since a bomb and gun attack in the capital Jakarta last month claimed by Daesh stamped the group’s presence in the region for the first time. Eight people were killed, four of them the attackers themselves.
“What was proven was the defendants’ intent to conspire in, assist, and prepare terrorism-related activities,” presiding judge Syahlan, who only goes by one name, said, adding that it was not necessary to prove they had actually carried out any attacks.
The men were jailed for between three and five years on charges ranging from training with a military camp in Syria to propagating extremist ideology and raising funds to help Indonesians travel to the Middle East to join Daesh.
The government is currently reviewing its anti-terrorism laws in the hope of containing the spread of radicalism and keeping Indonesian citizens from joining militant organizations. Officials said they were considering measures to lengthen prison terms and to allow suspected militants to be temporarily detained for up to 14 days without charge.
In the past two months, anti-terrorism police have arrested around 50 people suspected of having links to planned attacks including last month’s assault in Jakarta.
Indonesia has been largely successful in stamping out home-grown militancy since the Bali bombing of 2002 that killed more than 200 people, mostly Australians.
Last month’s attack was the first militant attack to hit Indonesia since 2009, when a car bomb at two foreign-owned hotels killed seven people and injured dozens.