After hours of tense negotiations with the authorities, the wife and son of a suspected terrorist blew themselves up at their home in North Sumatra. The police arrested the husband and father of the pair days earlier over his suspected links to a terrorist organisation, and his plans attack a local police headquarters. Both mother and child had remained in their house in Sibolga, North Sumatra.
National police spokesman, Dedi Prasetyo, stated that despite all the negotiation efforts made by the police, religious figures, and relatives, both mother and son refused to surrender and chose to stay inside their house. After 12 hours, the wife reportedly threw an explosive device at the security forces, wounding a police officer and a civilian.
According to the authorities, the husband is part of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), the largest Islamic State-linked group in the country. It was legally forced to disband last year due to its terrorism and affiliations to foreign, militant organisations.
Last year, a series of attacks in the City of Surabaya also took place at churches and police stations, killing more than 30 people. Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attacks. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, is determined to toughen its anti-terror laws. Hundreds of suspected militants have since been detained by the police in line with their effort to counter the threat of terrorism.
Under the recently revised law, anyone suspected of planning an attack can be held for up to 21 days for an initial inquiry and for up to 200 days for a formal investigation.