April 05, 2010
Putri Munawaroh, 21, who was pregnant when she was wounded and captured during
a gun battle with police in September, claims she wanted to die a martyr. Her
trial for sheltering infamous terrorist Noordin M Top is continuing in the
Jakarta District Court. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
Alleged Terrorist Claims She Wanted to Die a Martyr
An Indonesian woman went on trial Monday on charges of harboring Southeast
Asia's most wanted terrorist at the home where he was slain last year in a
shootout with police.
Judges opened and then immediately adjourned the trial of 21-year-old Putri
Munawaroh, who was arrested after September's gunbattle at a home in Central
Java. The trail was scheduled to resume Wednesday.
The proceedings will focus on Munawaroh's ties to alleged militant mastermind
Noordin M Top, who was killed in the raid along with three other suspected
terrorists, including Munawaroh's husband.
Noordin, a Malaysian who eluded capture for more than seven years, was said to
be an Al Qaeda-funded bomb maker wanted in connection with five major bombings
in Indonesia since 2002, including the massive blast in Bali that year that
left more than 200 dead.
He was also accused of ties to last July's twin suicide attacks at the
Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott hotels in Jakarta that killed seven and wounded
50. Those strikes ended four-year lull in terrorist attacks.
Prosecutors say Munawaroh's husband was an aide to Noordin and rented the safe
house police raided.
Investigators say that during interrogations Munawaroh, who was wounded in the
shootout, said she didn't surrender because she had intended to die as a martyr
while protecting Noordin. She was pregnant at the time of her arrest and later
gave birth to a son, who lives with her in prison.
If convicted of harboring terrorists and concealing information about terrorist
activities, she faces 20 years in prison. She has yet to speak publicly about
Her trial is expected to last months.
Munawaroh is the fifth alleged conspirator to go on trial since February over
the hotel bombings. All the trials are ongoing.
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