Newlywed militant suspects blamed in Indonesia church assault

Picture Supply : AP

Members of a police bomb squad examine the wreckage of a bike used to hold out Sunday’s suicide bomb assault on the Sacred Coronary heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

A just lately married couple with suspected militant hyperlinks used stress cooker bombs to blow themselves up exterior a Roman Catholic cathedral throughout Palm Sunday Mass, Indonesian officers mentioned Monday. The assault wounded 20 folks, together with 4 church guards, and broke home windows on the church and close by buildings in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province.

The couple have been married six months in the past and police have been investigating their home in Makassar, Nationwide Police spokesperson Argo Yuwono mentioned.

Police recognized them solely by their initials, L and his spouse, YSF. Neighbors of the couple recognized the person as Lukman and his spouse as Dewi and mentioned they have been between 23 and 26 years previous.

The attackers detonated their bombs after they have been confronted by guards exterior the church.

The stress cookers contained explosive supplies and nails to extend their hurt to victims, mentioned Makassar metropolis police chief Witnu Urip Laksana.

Police carried out DNA assessments to find out the attackers’ identities, Laksana mentioned.

The couple have been believed to have been members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and carried out a collection of suicide bombings in Indonesia.

They included a 2016 Starbucks assault in Jakarta which killed 4 civilians and 4 militants, an assault on a bus terminal within the capital that killed three law enforcement officials and an assault on a church in Kalimantan that killed a 2-year-old lady a yr later. A number of different kids suffered severe burns within the Kalimantan assault.

Indonesia’s final main militant assault was in Could 2018, when two households carried out suicide bombings on church buildings in Surabaya, killing a dozen folks together with two younger women whose mother and father concerned them in one of many assaults. Police mentioned the daddy was the chief of a neighborhood affiliate of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah.

One of many attackers in Makassar was believed to have had hyperlinks to a 2019 suicide assault that killed 23 folks at Our Woman of Mount Carmel Cathedral within the Philippine province of Sulu, Indonesian Nationwide Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo mentioned.

He mentioned the 2 attackers have been linked to a bunch of suspected militants arrested in Makassar on Jan. 6, when a police counterterrorism squad killed two suspected militants and arrested 19 others. The 2 males who have been killed have been being sought for his or her alleged position within the Philippine assault.

Prabowo instructed reporters on Monday that the police elite counterterrorism squad, often known as Densus 88, arrested 4 suspected militants believed to have hyperlinks with the attackers in a raid Sunday in Bima, a metropolis on Sumbawa island in West Nusa Tenggara province. One other suspect was arrested a day later in a separate raid within the province, he mentioned.

The 5 suspects have been in the identical Koran research group as the 2 alleged attackers, Prabowo mentioned. Earlier than he died, the person left a will to his mother and father, saying goodbye and that he was able to turn out to be a martyr, he mentioned.

He mentioned the counterterrorism squad on Monday additionally arrested 4 suspected militants in Condet neighborhood in jap Jakarta. They seized 5 do-it-yourself pipe bombs and greater than 5 kilograms (11 kilos) of chemical substances to be used in explosives in separate raids within the Jakarta outskirts.

The assault per week earlier than Easter on this planet’s most populous Muslim-majority nation got here because the nation was on excessive alert following the arrest in December of the chief of the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been designated a terror group by many countries.

President Joko Widodo condemned Sunday’s assault and mentioned it has nothing to do with any faith as all religions wouldn’t tolerate any type of terrorism. He ordered police to “totally examine the networks of the perpetrators and hunt them to the roots.”

Indonesia has been battling militants since Jemaah Islamiyah carried out bombings on the resort island of Bali in 2002 that killed 202 folks, principally overseas vacationers. Assaults geared toward foreigners have been largely changed in recent times by smaller, much less lethal strikes concentrating on the federal government, police and anti-terrorism forces and other people militants think about as infidels.

Because the arrest in December of Jemaah Islamiyah chief Aris Sumarsono, also called Zulkarnaen, the counterterrorism squad has arrested greater than 70 suspects, together with 19 in Makassar, following a tipoff about potential assaults towards police and locations of worship.

Jemaah Islamiyah was as soon as thought of the preeminent terror community in Southeast Asia, however has been weakened over the previous decade by a sustained crackdown. In recent times, a brand new menace has emerged in militants who fought with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and returned to Indonesia or these impressed by the group’s assaults overseas.

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