Indonesian militant jailed over Philippines arms smuggling

South Sulawesi bombings suspect Suryadi Mas’ud testifies during Abu Bakar Bashir’s trial in Jakarta, 17 June 2003. (AFP /Bay Ismoyo)
Updated 06 February 2018

Indonesian militant jailed over Philippines arms smuggling

JAKARTA: An Indonesian court on Tuesday jailed a militant for ten years for buying a cache of firearms from the Philippines’ biggest rebel group for attacks on home soil.
Suryadi Mas’ud, 45, was found guilty of a range of offenses — including planning a terrorist act and procuring weapons — by a panel of three judges at the West Jakarta district court.
The sentencing has highlighted the strong links between militants in Indonesia and the Philippines and comes amid heightened fears about Daesh inspired attacks in Southeast Asia.
Suryadi — who accepted the verdict — raised one finger into the air and shouted “Allah-u Akbar”
He was ordered to pay a fine of Rp 50 million ($3,700) on top of a ten-year prison sentence.
Suryadi first traveled to the Philippines from Indonesia in 2015 at the request of death-row inmate Iwan Darmawan, who is awaiting execution for his part in the 2004 bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta, the court heard.
While there, Suryadi met with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the city of Davao, where he paid $30,000 via a Western Union account for 18 assault rifles and five handguns.
Just under a year later, he bought another 12 M-16 rifles from the group, again at the request of Darmawan, the court heard.
The weapons were then used in attacks in Indonesia, prosecutors said.
Authorities in Indonesia have been on heightened alert following a wave of recent IS-inspired attacks and plots.


Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint

Updated 20 min 16 sec ago

Heavily armed man arrested at Washington security checkpoint

WASHINGTON: A heavily armed man has been arrested in Washington at a security checkpoint near the US Capitol, where President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated next week, authorities said.
Wesley Allen Beeler, of Virginia, was taken into custody after police found him with a handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, shotgun shells and a magazine for the gun, according to a police report obtained by AFP.
He had tried to pass through the checkpoint using fake inaugural credentials, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source.
Washington is under a high state of alert ahead of Biden’s Wednesday inauguration, after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6.
Five people died in the assault, including a police officer.
Security officials have warned that armed pro-Trump extremists, possibly carrying explosives, pose a threat to Washington as well as state capitals over the coming week.
Thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed in Washington and streets have been blocked off downtown with concrete barriers.
The National Mall, which is normally packed with people every four years for presidential inaugurations, has been declared off-limits at the request of the Secret Service, which ensures the security of the president.