You may remember a news story a year ago about three Christian girls in Indonesia who were attacked and beheaded on their way to school. The ringleader of the attack is now on trial in Jakarta, along with two accomplices. The Australian reports:
Javanese trader Hasanuddin appeared in Jakarta Central Court yesterday charged with planning and directing the murders in October last year. He faces a death sentence if found guilty under anti-terrorism legislation.
Hasanuddin allegedly returned from a visit to members of Philippines Islamist group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with tales of how that organisation regularly staged bombings to coincide with Lebaran, the festival that ends the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He later spoke with a preacher in Poso, Central Sulawesi, about whether such a plan could work in Indonesia, but expressed doubt about whether it was appropriate.
However, after further discussion with friends, he decided that beheading Christians could qualify as an act of Muslim charity.
Conscripting several accomplices at a local pesantren, or Islamic school, he directed one of them, Lilik Purnomo, to seek out “the head of a Christian”, prosecutors alleged.
“It would be a great Lebaran trophy if we got a Christian. Go search for the best place for us to find one,” Hasanuddin allegedly ordered his companion.
Lilik returned to say he had found an “excellent” target – a group of schoolgirls who travelled to and from class by foot in the Central Sulawesi village of Gebong Rejo.