Second Jihadist Family Conducts Suicide Bombings on Indonesian Police Station

The spate of bombings has rocked Indonesia, with the Islamic State group claiming the church attacks and raising fears about its influence in Southeast Asia

A second young family carried out suicide bombings on a police station in Surabaya, Indonesia, on Monday, following a similar attack on multiple churches in the city.

A day before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a family of four riding motorcycles loaded with explosives targeted a police station in Surabaya in an attack that injured ten people, including four police officers, according to the Jakarta Post. Jihadists typically see the Ramadan season as a time in which Allah looks upon terrorist attacks with particular favor.

“There were five people on two motorbikes. One of them was a little kid,” said national police chief Tito Karnavian. “This is one family.”

The family’s eight-year-old girl reportedly survived the explosion and was taken to the hospital, while the rest of the family died in the blast.

The wave of attacks began on Sunday with a young family of six bombing three Christian churches on Sunday morning, killing 12 people and injuring at least 40 others. The mother and her 17-year-old daughter died in an attack in the Surabaya suburb of Sidoarjo shortly after the father detonated an explosive prematurely.

The bombings, which have since been claimed by the Islamic State, are the deadliest terror attacks to place in Indonesia since 2005, leaving dozens of people dead and injured.

Over the past few years, ISIS has enacted a wave of attacks in Indonesia, many of which have taken place in the capital city of Jakarta.

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.

As noted by the BBC, “The archipelago, home to 260 million people, has seen a resurgence of Islamist militancy in recent years but the scale of the attacks in Surabaya has raised fresh concerns about the potency of jihadist networks.”

Hugo Brennan, a senior Asia analyst at the risk consultancy firm Verisk Maplecroft, told CNN that Indonesia is struggling with an influx of jihadists who travel to Southeast Asia to fight for jihad.

“The first wave was linked to Al Qaeda from 2001 and were involved in the Bali attacks,” he said. “Indonesian security forces dealt with them fairly effectively.”
“Then in 2014 there was an uptick in violence as groups linked to ISIS became active, stoked by online propaganda, militants who traveled to the Middle East and fighting in the Philippines,” he continued. “The attacks yesterday are part of a pattern … but (are among) the more sophisticated, and as it involved children, heinous.”

Indonesian President Joko Widodo condemned the attacks as “cowardly, undignified and inhumane” and pledged to push through the national legislature an anti-terrorism bill should the parliament fail to pass it.

The bill orders vastly expanding a police and military security presence across the country, but critics believe it will turn the country into a police state.

“There will be no compromise in taking action on the ground to stop terrorism,” Widodo said.

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