A suicide bomber failed to detonate in a recent surprise attack on a church in Indonesia, according to various news outlets.
Armed with a broken backpack bomb and a knife, a 17-year-old fanatic charged the pulpit during mass at St. Yoseph Catholic Church in Medan, North Sumatra Sunday. Hundreds of lives were saved due to faulty bomb assembly, reports the Asian Correspondent.
Sitting among other churchgoers, the young jihadi’s backpack suddenly burst into flames during the sermon. The small explosion injured the assailant, but this setback did not prevent him from trying to complete his mission. Backpack ablaze, the teen attempted to finish his assault with a knife, explained the Jakarta Post.
He managed to inflict a minor flesh-wound on Priest Albert Pandiangan before being neutralized by church members, reports the Daily Mail.
The assailant, Ivan Armadi, is currently in police custody. Police found bomb-making materials at his home after the failed attack. Armadi learned to assemble bombs online, it is reported.
Armadi’s neighbor Adi heard him test an explosive the day before the attack, but Adi thought it was a firecracker and dismissed it.
Witnesses reported spotting Islamic State (ISIS) symbols and paraphernalia among the attacker’s belongings. A deeper investigation revealed that the young jihadi is “obsessed” with ISIS.
“From the cellphone that was seized by security forces, this youth was obsessed with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” Chief Security Minister Wiranto told Reuters.
Wiranto also mentioned that a note was found in the attacker’s backpack which read, “I love al-Baghdadi.” Despite the young boy’s obsessions with the leader of ISIS, police have found no direct connection to ISIS.
Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, is concerned that ISIS attacks may become more prevalent after the incident. Indonesia’s first ISIS attack, a broad daylight assault on Jakarta involving suicide bombers and gunmen, occurred in January. Four people were killed in the attack. The January incident was followed by a suicide bombing at the Solo, Central Java police station in July. A man nmed Nur Rohman, who is said to have connections to ISIS militants and is the suspected mastermind behind the January Jakarta attack, killed himself and injured a police officer.
While these attacks were not as devastating as the al-Qaeda 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people, there is a real danger that ISIS could secure a foothold in Indonesia and that terrorist activities will become more frequent.
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