Indonesian suicide bomber leaves note criticising new criminal code

BANDUNG, Indonesia, Dec 7 (Reuters) – A suspected Islamist militant angered by Indonesia’s new criminal code killed another person and wounded at least 10 in a suicide bomb attack on a police station in the city of Bandung on Wednesday. Diya, officials said. .

Indonesia’s police chief Listio Sigit Prabowo told a news conference that the suicide bomber belonged to the Islamic State-affiliated group Jamaat Anshart al-Dawlah (JAD) and was previously in prison on terrorism charges.

The police chief said the attacker, identified as Agus Sojatno, was released in late 2021 and investigators found dozens of documents at the scene protesting the country’s controversial new criminal code.

“We received dozens of papers protesting against the newly approved criminal code,” he said.

Analysts say that while the new criminal code passed by parliament contains provisions based on sharia, Islamist hardliners may be angered by other articles used to crack down on the spread of extremist ideas. can go.

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West Java police chief Santana earlier told Metro TV that authorities found a blue motorcycle at the scene, which they believe was used by the attacker.

Attached to the bike was a note with a message calling the new criminal code a “pagan product,” Santana said.

Todd Elliott, a senior security analyst at Concorde Consulting in Jakarta, said the attack had likely been planned for some time and was an ideological rejection of the country’s new laws.

“While all the focus is on some of these Sharia-based provisions in the criminal code and this is indicative of the spread of conservative Islam in Indonesia, there are also changes in the criminal code that hardliners do not support,” he said. will.” .

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“Including the outlawing of any ideology that is against the state ideology, Pancasila, and that would include extremist ideology.”

Video footage from the scene of Wednesday’s attack showed smoke billowing from the damaged police station, with debris on the ground.

“Suddenly I heard an explosion… I saw some police officers coming out of the station and they were not walking properly,” Hans, a 21-year-old street vendor who witnessed the explosion, told Reuters. Told to

Islamist militants have carried out attacks in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country in recent years, including at churches, police stations and places with high concentrations of foreigners.

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JAD members were responsible for a series of suicide church bombings in the city of Surabaya in 2018. The attacks were carried out by three families, who also attached suicide vests to their young children, and killed at least 30 people.

In 2021, a pair of JAD newlyweds carried out a suicide bombing at a cathedral in Makassar, killing only themselves.

In an effort to crack down on the militants, Indonesia enacted a tough new anti-terrorism law after a series of suicide bombings linked to JAD.

Analysts say the group, now largely fragmented, has been significantly weakened by a wave of arrests by the counter-terrorism agency in recent years.

Reporting by Ananda Tricia, Francesca Nangoy, Stefano Suleiman, Udi Kahia Budiman and Kate Lamb; Written by Kate Lamb; Edited by Ed Davies, Gerry Doyle and Simon Cameron Moore

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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