Terror is a family affair for ISIS-linked militant groups in Indonesia

Hannah Rogers
May 15, 2018

The families behind a wave of suicide bombings in the Indonesian city of Surabaya were all members of the same religious study group and radicalised their children through homeschooling, investigators in East Java have said.

Every Sunday evening they were made to attend a prayer circle with these adults, said Mr. Arifin, adding that the families behind the two sets of suicide attacks had attended.

The family was one among hundreds in Indonesia, who had returned from Syria and has observed the IS occupation there.

An Indonesian family brought its 7-year-old daughter to a suicide bomb attack it launched Monday on the police headquarters in the country's second-largest city, authorities said, a day after members of another family conducted coordinated suicide bombings on three city churches that killed 12 people.

Oepriarto, his wife, Puji, and their four children, the youngest, a daughter aged nine, carried out the deadly strikes. They were then radicalized "as a family unit", he said.

Moderate Muslims are, if anything, even more threatening to them than Christians, Jews or agnostic westerners could ever hope to be.

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the use of children in the attacks was "sickeningly cruel". At least one fatality was confirmed, but initial reports said at least seven people were dead, including four of the attackers, and that 10 people were injured, including four policemen. The attack killed the four perpetrators.

Police said they uncovered the link between the three families through interviews with the surviving children of the Sidoarjo family.

According to police, the accused Oepriarto was friends with the other family who carried police headquarters bombing out Monday's and a third family who died after homemade bombs exploded in their apartment on Sunday night.

Television footage appeared to show a person on a motorcycle driving into the grounds of a church before a bomb was detonated.

Rininta Fisca Wardhani, a postgraduate student at Surabaya's Airlangga University, said she is concerned about the possibility of another bombing incident, as her house is located in front of a big church.

Further details on the terror suspect would be released after examination by police Disaster Victim Identification unit was done, Frans said. Jemaah Islamiyah, the al-Qaida affiliated network responsible for the Bali attacks, was obliterated by a sustained crackdown on militants by Indonesia's counterterrorism police with USA and Australian support.

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