IS-inspired family behind 'barbaric' Java church bombing

The police believe that JAD is group that is following attack, an organization that is estimated to have attracted hundreds of supporters of Islamic State in Indonesia. Police said the members of the family that carried out Sunday's attacks were among 500 Islamic State sympathisers who had returned from Syria. No details were given about the family's alleged involvement in that conflict.

It was the first major attack in Jakarta since Jemaah Islamiyah's 2009 simultaneous attacks on the J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels, which left seven people dead.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the sites and described terrorism as a crime against humanity.

How did the family stage the attack?

In the third location, the Indonesian Christian Church, veiled women entered the church's yard where they were stopped by a security guard before an explosion occurred at the same spot, according to the police report.

Suicide bombers targeted three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia this morning, leaving at least 13 people killed and 41 more injured and hospitalized. The girls - aged 9 and 12 - had bombs strapped to them, as did their mother. Two sons, ages 18 and 16, carried out one of the attacks with a motorcycle bomb, and the father used an SUV for his attack. It was their attack that came first, at around 07:30 local time (00:30 GMT). At the family's home, investigators found three plastic boxes containing pipe bombs, Surabaya police Grand Commissioner Rudi Setiawan said.

The Indonesian Church Association condemned the attacks, as did the country's two largest Muslim organisations, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, the AP reported.

In addition to the suicide blast police experts defused two unexploded bombs at the Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church.

East Java's police chief, Mahfud Arifin, said that those killed at the apartment were the perpetrators, not victims.

Police have also frequently been targeted by attackers following a crackdown on Islamist militants in the wake of the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people.

They reportedly rode motorcycles while attacking Santa Maria Catholic Church.

Officials say they foiled several planned attacks on Sunday, killing four suspected members of JAD and arresting two others.

In recent years, Indonesia has experienced a resurgence of Islamist activity, some of whose attacks have been linked to rise of ISIS.

Jakarta police placed the capital and surrounding areas on high alert, while the transportation ministry warned airports to be on guard. In 2016, an attack left four civilians and four perpetrators dead.

Previous incidents have included a 2004 suicide auto bomb that killed 10 outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, twin bomb blasts that killed 22 in a market in the Central Sulawesi town of Tentena, and a suicide bombing in 2005 that killed 20 in Bali.

The six bombers additionally died, Karnavian stated.

He reiterated the support of the United Nations to the government and people of Indonesia in their efforts to fight and prevent terrorism and violent extremism, including through the promotion of pluralism, moderation and tolerance, said the statement.

  • Jon Douglas