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Indonesia: Director says terrorism suspects graduated from his school

last update: September 03, 17:45

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Jakarta, 3 Sept. (AKI/Jakarta Post) - Director of the Al Mukmin (Ngruki) Islamic boarding school in Sukoharjo, Central Java, confirmed Monday that two terror suspects shot dead by a counterterrorism unit last Friday, graduated from the school.

Wahyuddin told reporters that Farhan Mujahid, 19, graduated from Al Mukmin’s Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTs), the education level equal to junior high school, in 2008. He did not continue to the senior level due to financial difficulties.

Another suspect, Mukhsin Tsani, 19, attended Al Mukmin’s senior high school.

“Although the two were at the same age, they never met at the school. They attended different classes in different years,” said Wahyuddin.

According to Wahyuddin, the school has sequestrated Farhan’s graduation certificate because he still owes the school money. “He had not paid his tuition fees for two years,” he said.

Mukhsin has a relatively similar case to Farhan, Rp 12 million (US$1,252) in debt.

“They both graduated from the school but never obtained their certificates,” he said.

Wahyuddin said that the two’s involvement the shootings which targeted police posts in Surakarta had nothing to do with the school’s teachings.

“Whatever activities they did after graduating from the school, or to what groups they were affiliated, were no longer our concern. We know nothing about their links with terrorist groups in the southern Philippines,” he said.

Wahyuddin said that the two’s involvement in recent attacks in Surakarta had tainted the school’s reputation despite the school’s records on terrorism acts.

Ngruki was founded by hatemonger Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, now serving 15 years in prison for organizing a terrorism training camp in Aceh. Many of the school’s graduates have been involved in terrorism, including the first Bali bombing in 2002 that claimed more than 200 lives, mostly foreign tourists.

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