Jakarta. Renowned Muslim preacher Ali Jaber, who was stabbed while delivering a sermon in Lampung on Sunday, recalled how the attacker swung the knife in a skillful way with clear intention to kill him, as he dismissed insanity as a motive for the attack.
The Saudi-born preacher was injured in his right arm and discharged from hospital after a brief treatment.
"I won’t accept if the attacker is found insane," Ali spoke to reporters in the provincial capital Bandarlampung on Monday.
He said he could avoid a more serious injury by raising his hand and the knife landed on his upper arm.
"As he missed the target, the attacker attempted to pull the knife with determination but it was broken as I pivoted my body. Having said that, he is not a crazy man, he has the determination and is well-trained,” Ali said.
"I hope justice will be delivered and law enforcement agencies will act honestly because we put our trust on them.”
His remarks came amid reports that preliminary investigation indicated mental impairment of the attacker.
The Lampung Police have identified the attacker as Alpin Andria, who lives near the crime scene, and confirmed that he had acted alone. The incident occurred at Falahuddin Mosque in Bandarlampung.
But no more details have emerged about Alpin, who police said is at his 20s and has no permanent job.
Top politicians and government officials have demanded a thorough investigation into the attack. Ali, who was born in Medina and awarded Indonesian citizenship in January, is known as a pro-government preacher.
He has led several religious events during Ramadan with the attendance of then President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Joko Widodo.
Most recently, he helped the government in public health campaign related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Law enforcement officials must uncover the motive for this immoral attack. Police should not easily label the attacker with mental impairment," House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Azis Syamsuddin said in Jakarta.
He said the House legal commission will closely monitor police investigation into the case.
It was the second knife attack on a public figure in less than a year.
In October last year, a man attacked then chief security minister Wiranto in the Banten district of Pandeglang. The minister was injured in the abdomen and had to undergo surgery.
Authorities blamed the attack on shadowy terror group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah.