Ex-hardline group leader allegedly involved in Philippines’ cathedral bombing
Former Secretary-General of an Islamic hardline group in Indonesia is said to be related to the 2019 cathedral bombing in Jolo, Sulu Province, Philippines.
The ex-leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), Munarman, was identified by the witness in the trial of the alleged criminal act of terrorism at the East Jakarta District Court (PN Jaktim) on the 17th of January. The trial was conducted in a way where the identities of the judges, prosecutors, and witnesses were disguised.
According to CNN Indonesia, the prosecutor first asked what series of acts of terrorism were the background for the report. The witness explained that Munarman’s alleged terrorism case was related to an allegiance ceremony in Makassar to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2015. Munarman attended the mass religious gathering and pledged allegiance to ISIS.
The witness explained that Munarman’s reporting background was related to the case of the bombing of the Jolo Cathedral Church in Sulu Province in the Philippines, which was carried out by several Indonesian terrorists from Makassar. Based on police investigations, the cathedral church terrorist attack was linked to a network known as the “Makassar Group.”
More than twenty people were killed in the suicide bomb attack after the IS-linked Indonesian militant and his wife ripped through Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral.
The prosecutor believes that there is a link between the events that took place in the Philippines and the Makassar Group’s activities. And according to several witnesses’ statements, the prosecutor strongly suspects Munarman’s brother was involved.