Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Indonesian family that bombed churches well off, friendly

Indonesian family that bombed churches well off, friendly

The attackers' 8-year-old daughter, who was riding on one of the two motorcycles, survived the blast. He said the child survived the explosion, and CCTV footage showed a child stumbling around in the aftermath.

Following hot on the heels of the mass murder carried out by Oepriarto's family was a similar attack on Monday by a family of five on a police station in Surabaya.

Neighbors said there were no signs members of the family were planning the acts of violence that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo condemned as "barbaric" and "beyond humanity". The person identified as D.O., who carried out the third church attack, was the leader of JAD's Surabaya cell.

Despite their apparent allegiance to IS, the church-bombing family were not returnees from Syria, police said Monday, correcting their earlier statements.

Oepriarto reportedly drove a bomb-laden van into the city's Pentecostal church, while Kuswati and her daughters attacked the Christian Church of Diponegoro; the sons reportedly drove a motorbike into the grounds of Santa Maria Church and detonated bombs there, according to Reuters.

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"[The parents said the kids were] homeschooled if they were asked".

The Islamic State (known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the church attacks. Abuza questioned the police suggestion that the attacks were ordered by the IS leadership overseas but said it would likely boost its presence in Southeast Asia as it fades elsewhere.

On Sunday night, three members of another family, including a child, were killed when a bomb exploded at their apartment outside Surabaya when the police moved in to arrest them. "Three martyrdom attacks killed 11 and wounded at least 41 among church guards and Christians", the group said via the Telegram messaging app, according to the Post.

The police later disabled three bombs at the family's home.

Every Sunday evening they were made to attend a prayer circle with these adults, said Mr Arifin, adding that the families behind the two sets of suicide attacks had attended.

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CCTV footage of the blast outside the police station early on Monday morning showed two motorbikes arriving at a checkpoint next to a vehicle followed by an explosion as officers approached.

CNN notes that leaders of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah were recently imprisoned, leading the nation's top-ranking police official to speculate that the bombings on Sunday and Monday were likely acts of vengeance.

Police said they killed four suspected members of JAD in Cianjur, West Java Province, and arrested two others, the BBC reported.

Indonesia's deadliest terror attack took place in Bali in 2002, when 202 people, many of whom were foreigners, were killed in an explosion in the island's popular nightclub district. It is also hard to detect it by X-ray, making it a popular type of explosives among terrorists.

Indonesian police believe the attacks in Surabaya are a reaction to what happened at the Jakarta prison, with instructions coming from the ISIL leadership.

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