A Terrorist Attack at an Indonesian Church Has Killed a Toddler and Wounded Three Others
President Joko Widodo has demanded a thorough investigation
A man formerly convicted of terrorist offenses has been arrested for allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at a church in Samarinda, in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province, on Sunday morning, killing a toddler and wounding three other children.
The children were playing in the front yard of the Oikumene Church when the suspect, Juhanda, a.k.a. Jo bin Muhammad Aceng, lobbed the bomb, Kompas daily reported. Intan Marbun, said to be 2 or 3 years old, suffered severe burns and died in the early hours of Monday morning. The other three children are between 2 and 3 years old.
The suspect, who on Sunday’s attack wore a black T-shirt that read “Jihad Way of Life,” was sentenced in 2012 to three years and six months in 2012 for his involvement in the “book-bomb” plots in Jakarta a year before. One of the targets was a liberal cultural center called Teater Utan Kayu. He received remission of sentence and was released in July 2014.
Juhanda was arrested again in September 2014 after he was found with an ISIS flag in Parepare, Sulawesi. At the time, he was allegedly trying to find and kill his wife.
“This case has opened our eyes that [the counterterrorism agency] BNPT needs to improve its deradicalization program,” legislator Eva Sundari said in a statement on Sunday.
President Joko Widodo said that “the bomb case in Samarinda has to be investigated thoroughly.”
In late August, a suicide bomber tried to attack a crowded Catholic church in the Sumatran city of Medan, but his vest failed to detonate. A drawing resembling an ISIS flag was reportedly found at the scene.