Wave of Violence Hit Indonesia’s Second Largest City
A spate of deadly suicide bombings have struck Indonesia’s second-largest city of Surabaya in a span of two days. All deadly bombings were orchestrated by a whole family including children as young as seven-year old.
Earlier this week, a family of six launched suicide attacks on Christians attending Sunday services at three churches in Surabaya, killing at least 13 people and wounding 40.
Media reports say the parents brought their children to die when they launched the deadly attacks. The father drove a bomb-laden car into the city’s Pentecostal church. The mother and her two daughters, aged 9 and 12, attacked the Christian Church of Diponegoro, while the sons aged 16 and 18 rode a motorcycle onto the grounds of the Santa Maria Church and detonated their explosives there.
Just hours after the church bombings, three people in another family were killed and two wounded when another bomb exploded at an apartment complex about 30km from Surabaya.
A day after the suicide bombings that targeted Christian churches, another deadly bombings hit the same city. This time it targeted a police station, injuring 10 people.
According to media reports, the couple carried out the attack accompanied by their sons, aged 18 and 14, and their 7-year-old daughter.
Nearly 90 percent of Indonesians are Muslim, but the country is also home to communities of Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists.
The Perpetrators: Family Are Islamic State Sympathizers
Sunday’s attacks were orchestrated by Islamic State sympathizers who had returned from Syria. They blamed the bombings on the Islamic State-inspired group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD). In fact, the father of the family involved in those attacks in Christian churches was the head of a JAD cell in the city
JAD is an umbrella organisation on a U.S. State Department “terrorist” list that is estimated to have drawn hundreds of Islamic State sympathizers in Indonesia. The terrorist group was responsible of the Java church bombing on September 2011, deadly attacks on Indonesian policemen and bank robberies aimed at raising money for weapons and bomb materials.
In addition, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, in a message carried on its Amaq news agency.
“Three martyrdom attacks inflict at least 11 deaths and 41 injuries of the churches’ guards and Christians in the city of Surabaya in East Java province in Indonesia,” the agency said in a statement that gave no further details.