A Catholic Church in Medan, Indonesia, suffered a failed jihadist attack this week as an 18-year-old rushed into a service, wielding an ax and detonating a bomb that injured only himself.
The Jakarta Post reports the man was wearing paraphernalia witnesses identified as carrying Islamic State imagery. The man injured the priest by swinging his ax, but the failed explosives did nothing to hurt churchgoers.
A witness to the event told local media, according to the Washington Post, that the man was behaving suspiciously throughout the entire service. “He was fidgety the whole time,” said the churchgoer, identified only as Vero. “He also could not follow our ritual.” The witness went on to say that, as the service got underway, “the man took cables out of his backpack and connected them to something she suspected was the detonator.” As the man tried to detonate the bomb, it burst into flames injuring the would-be terrorist.
The terrorist, identified as Ivan Armadi Hasugian, is currently in custody and has told police that he was inspired by the Islamic State attack in Normandy in which jihadists beheaded a local Catholic priest. The Jakarta Post has published an image of the Islamic State paraphernalia he was carrying: a crayon-colored Islamic State flag.
Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, is quickly becoming a stronghold for ISIS in Eastern Asia. According to Indonesian security officials, nearly five hundred known people have traveled from Indonesia to the Middle East to join the Islamic State. This is the second ISIS terrorist attack this year; Medan is the third largest city in the country. Earlier this year in January, a group of four male terrorists carried out a terrorist attack using gun and explosives in Jakarta’s business district, killing four people.
Earlier in August, Indonesia authorities uncovered and stopped a terror plot that would have used rockets to attack targets in Singapore. According to Breitbart News, “Indonesian counterterrorism police have thwarted a jihadist missile attack early Friday, arresting six terror suspects who reportedly planned to fire a rocket from the nearby Indonesian island of Batam into downtown Singapore.”
In February, Breitbart News reported about the growing terror problem in Southeast Asia. Terror officials from Australia have also warned their citizens about the growing threat in Indonesia and neighboring Malaysia. “Australia on Thursday warned that terrorists might be in the “advanced stages of preparing attacks” in Indonesia and advised travelers to take precautions, just days after a similar warning about neighboring Malaysia.”