surabaya - All perpetrators of the attacks on three churches in Indonesia yesterday came from the same family. At least thirteen people died and dozens were injured in the bloodbath in Surabaya, the second largest city in the country.
The perpetrators struck early in the morning, when the churchgoers arrived for the Sunday service. Two sons aged 16 and 18 drove on mopeds to a church, where they detonated the bombs they carried on their bodies. The father then drove a car with a large explosive and some smaller around his waist the grounds of another church, after he had deposed his wife and two younger children at the third church. There the mother and her daughters of 9 and 12 blew themselves up. A fourth attack, on the Cathedral of Surabaya, was thwarted by arrest of the attacker.
According to the boss of the national police, Tito Karnavian, the family had ties with Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an extremist group affiliated with Islamic State. The family would have been in Syria. The family was deported last year with other Indonesians by Turkey. The leader of JAD, Zainal Anshori, got seven years in February for the planning of arms smuggling from the south of the Philippines. His group would also be responsible for other attacks in Indonesia. The attacks of yesterday were the first in Indonesia, which have been claimed by Islamic State.
Indonesia received much praise for its successful fight against terror after the Bali bombings in 2002. But the rise of IS has inspired a new generation of militants. Due to the growing intolerance in recent years, violence and discrimination against minorities in the country are increasing alarmingly. Female jihadists are increasingly active, but it is the first time that children have been used to commit an attack in the country with the largest Muslim population in the world.
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