The National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) said on Wednesday (07/09) that the teenager who allegedly launched a failed suicide bomb attack on a church in Medan, North Sumatra, last month, received his instructions from the Islamic State group in Syria. (Antara Photo/Irsan Mulyadi)

Failed Suicide Bomber Attacks Catholic Church in Medan


AUGUST 28, 2016

Jakarta. A suicide bomb attempt at a Catholic church in Medan, North Sumatra, Sunday morning (28/08) has left the suspect with minor injuries after the bomb failed to detonate correctly.

Father Albert S. Pandingan was leading the Sunday service at Medan's St. Yoseph church when the suspect, identified as I.A.H., ran towards to pulpit and attempted to stab the priest. The bomb hidden in the suspect's vest failed to detonate, only creating sparks which injured the would-be attacker. The priest sustained only minor scratches to his arm.

I.A.H. is a 17-year-old student from Setia Budi in Medan Selayang, North Sumatra.

Members of the church congregation seized the suspect, who was carrying a knife, an axe and a pipe bomb in his backpack, before police arrived to clear and secure the venue.

“We have seized a back backpack from the perpetrator. The perpetrator is alive and injured and there are no casualties in this incident,” National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar told Beritasatu.

Boy also said police had found what a drawing that resembles the Islamic State flag. It remains unclear if the suspect is affiliated with a terror cell and police are investigating potential links.

In early July, a day before Idul Fitri celebrations, a suicide bomber targeted the Solo police headquarters but killed only himself.