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)

Medan Terror Attack Suspect 'Amateur Bomb Maker'


AUGUST 29, 2016

Medan. Initial investigations launched by Medan Police has found the young failed suicide bomber in this weekend's Medan attack was an amateur bombmaker who had been testing homemade bombs prior to the attack.

The suspect, 17-year-old Ivan Armadi Hasugian, failed in his attack on Sunday morning (28/08) at St. Yoseph Catholic church in Medan, North Sumatra.

Initial investigations including witnesses and family members of the suspect found Ivan had built and attempted to detonate bombs several times, North Sumatra Police spokeswoman Sr. Comr. Rina Sari Ginting said.

The suspect's sister Eva said there had been an explosion at 9 a.m. on Friday in the family home in Setia Budi, Medan Selayan, Rina said.

The police seized a homemade detonator, electrical and bomb making equipment as well as a passport and ID cards.

Another witness, identified as Adi, said he saw the suspect attempt to detonate a bomb at his home a day prior to the church attack, although he thought it was only firecrackers.

The failed attack occurred while Father Albert S. Pandingan led the Sunday service when the suspect ran towards to pulpit and attempted to stab the priest.

The bomb hidden in the suspect's vest and bag failed to detonate, only creating sparks injuring the would-be attacker. The priest sustained minor scratches to his arm and has been transferred to a local hospital.

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. There are no major casualties in the incident.