World News

Indonesian Islamist on Trial for Plot to Attack Burmese Embassy

TEXT SIZE - +
An Indonesian court has opened a trial of a man suspected of plotting to bomb the Burmese embassy in Jakarta in revenge for killings of minority Rohingya Muslims in Burma.

The 29-year-old Indonesian suspect, who goes by the single name of Separiano, faces terrorism charges that carry a maximum sentence of death. He was arrested in May as he and another man rode a motorbike in Jakarta toward the Burmese embassy, hours before they allegedly planned to stage the attack.

Police found five homemade bombs in a backpack the two men were carrying and later seized other explosive materials from them.

At Wednesday's trial opening in a Jakarta court, prosecutors accused Separiano of seeking revenge against Buddhist-majority Burma for its treatment of minority Rohingya Muslims. Several other Islamists also have been arrested in connection with the plot, including its alleged mastermind, Sigit Indrajit.

Buddhist-Muslim violence has flared in Burma since June 2012, killing at least 240 people. Most of the killings have happened in the western Burmese state of Rakhine, home to Muslim minorities including the stateless Rohingyas. The unrest and perceived Buddhist targeting of Rohingyas has upset many in Muslim-majority Indonesia.

The Burmese government refuses to grant citizenship to the impoverished Rohingyas, labeling them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

Feature Story

People make their way into Terminal A at Mineta San Jose International Airport near the Hawaiian Airlines gates, April 21, 2014, in San Jose, Calif.

VOA Exclusive: Teen Stowaway's Father Says Allah Protected Son

Abdilahi Yusuf Abdi tells VOA's Somali service he was stunned to learn his son had made the risky trip to Hawaii in the wheel well of a Boeing jetliner More