Suicide bombers targeted three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia this morning, leaving at least 13 people killed and 41 more injured and hospitalized.
All six of the suicide bombers were killed in the attack.
Surabaya Church Suicide Bombing – What we know so far
A family of six is reportedly responsible for the attack, including two daughters aged just 9 and 12 along with two brothers aged 16 and 18, the husband and wife.
The first attack was carried out at approximately 7:30 am local time (8:30 pm Eastern Summer Time) by the two sons at the Santa Maria Catholic Church. The sons rode motorcycles into the church and detonated bombs in their possession.
The second and third suicide church bombings occurred just five minutes later. The father drove his explosive-rigged car into Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church, according to local police.
The third and final suicide bombing attack was performed by the mother and her two young daughters had explosives strapped to their bodies which they detonated in the Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church.
Many Indonesian officials and members of the police force believe the attack was organized by the Islamic State (ISIS) born group, Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
Local police reportedly stopped additional attacks from happening and have been on the lookout for suspected members of JAD and other extremist groups.
The Islamic State has since claimed responsibility for the attack over their Aamaq news agency network although they only mention three attackers.
The family’s father has been identified as Dita Futrianto and the mother as Puji Kuswati. It is suspected that Dita Futrianto has ties with ISIS subsidiary group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) and that he was the head of the Surabaya group.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo released a statement condemning this suicide bombing attack and act of terrorism as “cowardly actions” and “very barbaric and beyond the limit of humanity”.
Indonesia’s History with Terrorism
This was Indonesia’s second worst terrorist attack, the first having occurred in 2002 in which 202 people were killed by a bomb outside of a nightclub.
Since that 2002 bombing, police have aggressively cracked down on suspected extremist group leaders and members.
In fact, national Indonesian police spokesman Setyo Wasisto reported earlier this Sunday that police fatally shot four suspected extremist militants and arrested two others in West Java towns.
While police are responding, the threat of terrorism in Indonesia, as in many countries has been a growing concern. In May 2005, a bombing killed 22 people on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Later that year, another suicide bombing left 20 dead. In 2016, an attack left four civilians and four perpetrators dead.
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