ISIS-INSPIRED BOMBINGS IN INDONESIA
May 15, 2018 | By Devianti Faridz, Euan McKirdy, and Eliza Mackintosh
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O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more. (Ps 10:17-18)
A spate of deadly, ISIS-inspired bombings that rocked Indonesia’s second-largest city in 24 hours were carried out by three families — including their young children — who targeted churches and the police, authorities said.
In the latest attack on Monday morning, a family of five rode two motorcycles to the front gate of Surabaya’s police headquarters before detonating explosives, injuring 10 people.
On Tuesday, police identified the couple as Tri Murtiono and his wife Tri Ernawati, who carried out the attack accompanied by their sons, aged 18 and 14, and their 7-year-old daughter. CNN had previously reported that the girl was eight, per police statements.
She was riding as a passenger on one of the bikes and was thrown clear of the explosion, police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said. A video of the scene showed her staggering through the rubble before a bystander picked her up and carried her to safety.
The bombing came one day after a family of six, including four children, detonated explosives at three churches, killing 12 people and injuring at least 40.
The father, identified by police as Dita Oepriarto, was said to have driven his wife Puji Kuswat and their two daughters, aged 9 and 12, to the Indonesian Christian Church. The trio went inside and detonated a bomb….
Tito Karnavian, Indonesia’s top-ranking police officer, told reporters Monday that police were working on the assumption that the attacks followed a directive from ISIS Central Command to avenge the imprisonment of the former leaders of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Indonesian jihadi group that supports ISIS.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, has struggled in recent months with a rise in Islamist militancy, which has come as ISIS has been squeezed out of its heartland in Syria and Iraq.
Karnavian also told reporters Monday that none of the families involved in the attacks had recently traveled to Syria, but Oepriarto had close links with someone who had recently returned from Syria who may have inspired him to carry out the attacks.
“These attacks are the nightmare scenario that’s been anticipated since Indonesians affiliated with ISIS have returned from the Middle East,” said Greg Barton, Chair in Global Islamic Politics at Deakin University in Australia. (Excerpts from Devianti Faridz, Euan McKirdy, and Eliza Mackintosh article on CNN)