Indonesia jails militant over plan to smuggle weapons from the Philippines

JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Indonesian leader of an Islamic State-linked militant group was jailed for seven years Monday over plans to smuggle weapons from the southern Philippines, a court said.

Zainal Anshori, 43, head of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, was found guilty of committing a “criminal act of terrorism” by the Jakarta court.

His group is believed to be responsible for several terror plots in Indonesia including a January 2016 attack in Jakarta that left eight people dead, including four militants.

Prosecutors had called for a 10-year prison term.

The cache of some 50 weapons, which did not reach their destination, were intended to be used in future attacks in Indonesia, the court said.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim majority nation, has been on heightened alert following a string of IS-inspired attacks and plots.

Many jihadists from Indonesia — which has long struggled with Islamist militancy — have in recent years travelled to join IS in Syria and the Philippine city of Marawi.

Foreign and local IS supporters ravaged Marawi before being defeated in October, ending a five-month conflict with the military that left about 1,100 people dead.

Last week, a Jakarta court sentenced an Islamist militant to ten years in prison for buying a cache of guns from a rebel group in the Philippines.