Church at­tacker ob­sessed with IS leader

The Myanmar Times - - World -

AN In­done­sian teenager who stabbed a priest in a church and tried to set off a homemade bomb was ob­sessed with the Is­lamic State (IS) group’s leader.

The 17-year-old at­tempted on Au­gust 27 to set off the crude, low-grade ex­plo­sive as the Catholic priest held mass in the packed church in Medan on Su­ma­tra, and then stabbed him with a knife.

The ex­plo­sive, which au­thor­i­ties com­pared to a fire­cracker, did not det­o­nate prop­erly and only gave off smoke while the priest sus­tained mi­nor in­juries.

The con­gre­ga­tion tack­led the at­tacker af­ter he ran at Fa­ther Al­bert Pan­di­an­gan and knifed him, stop­ping the teenager be­fore he could do more harm.

Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Wi­ranto said that the at­tacker was fix­ated on the leader of the IS, Abu Bakr al-Bagh­dadi. The group’s in­flu­ence has been blamed for re­cent at­tacks and at­tempted at­tacks in Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity Indonesia.

“From the mo­bile phone con­fis­cated by au­thor­i­ties, this kid is ob­sessed with Abu Bakr al-Bagh­dadi from IS,” the min­is­ter said.

Mr Wi­ranto said the words “I love al-Bagh­dadi” were found writ­ten on the at­tacker’s back­pack, al­though of­fi­cials did not be­lieve he had joined any ter­ror net­work.

A search of his rented room turned up cop­per ca­bles, gun­pow­der and light bulbs, ma­te­ri­als that could be used to as­sem­ble sim­ple bombs, said Mr Wi­ranto. –

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