The US military prosecutor filed a formal complaint against the Indonesian former leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah group, Encep Nurjaman alias Riduan Isamuddin or Hambali, and two of his followers on Thursday (21/1).
Hambali is said to be the mastermind behind the 2002 Bali bombing and the 2003 bomb attack on the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, where he was assisted by two of his followers, Muhammad Nazir bin Lep and Muhammad Farik Bin Amin. Nazir and Farik are said to have participated in training by Al-Qaeda.
He will undergo trial in military court, but the time has not been determined due to the ongoing pandemic era.
The two bomb attacks resulted in heavy casualties. The 2002 Bali bombings killed 202 people, including 88 Australians. Meanwhile, the JW Marriott bomb killed 12 people.
Hambali and his two followers were arrested in Bangkok in 2003 and have been detained at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay since 2006.
Hambali, who was born in Cianjur, West Java, is believed to be the highest representative of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group in Southeast Asia.
“The charges include conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, deliberately causing serious bodily injury, terrorism, assaulting civilians, attacking civilian objects, destruction of property and accessories, all of which violate the laws of war,” the US Defense Ministry said in a statement quoted by AFP.
The charges against Hambali and two of his followers were filed by the United States nearly 18 years after the arrests. All three have spent more than 14 years in the US military prison.
The demand was filed by the US on the first day of President Joe Biden’s government officially taking office.
Until now, it was not clear why the charges against Hambali and the two followers had been delayed for years.
In 2016, Hambali’s request for release was rejected. According to US prosecutors, he still “poses a significant threat” to the security of the United States.