A militant was sentenced to eighteen years in prison in this period for sending a series of book bombs to prominent liberal Muslims and a retired police officer in March 2011. Pepi Fernando was also convicted of two amateurish plots to assassinate President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) in August 2010 and March 2011 and a thwarted attack on Christ Cathedral Church at Serpong, near Jakarta, over Easter 2011. An accomplice in the book bomb plot, Hendi Suhartono, was given a twelve year sentence, while a cameraman hired to film the planned church bombing, Imam Firdaus, received three years and four months for failing to report the matter to the authorities. Four other accomplices of Pepi received terms of between three and six years from the West Jakarta District Court.
One of those targeted with a parcel bomb was Ulil Abshar Abdalla, an Islamic scholar linked to the Liberal Islam Network. We reported at the time that Abdalla had a relationship with the President’s Democratic Party and it was possible that the bombing was directed against the Government. Pepi said he was unhappy with the President’s lack of response to a letter sent by convicted terrorist Abu Bakar Bashir and others, which called on Indonesia to adopt Islamic law, prompting him to target SBY. He told investigators he learnt how to make bombs and mix chemicals online.