Church attacker obsessed with IS leader
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. –