A toddler has been killed in a Molotov cocktail attack on a church in central Indonesia, the second explosion at a church in the country this year. The suspect, a former terrorist convict, was captured by locals.
On Sunday morning, several Molotov cocktails were thrown into the parking lot of the Oikumene Christian Church in Sengkotek subdistrict, Samarinda. Four children reportedly suffered burn injuries in the attack, which also caused scorch damage to four motorcycles parked in front of the church.
Immediately after the incident, local residents apprehended a 32-year-old man, identified only by the initial J, whom they believed to have attacked the church. He was seen running away from the scene toward the nearby Mahakam River immediately after the attack.
The suspect, who on Sunday’s attack wore a black T-shirt that read “Jihad Way of Life,” was sentenced in 2012 to three years and six months for his involvement in the “book-bomb” plot in Jakarta a year before. One of the targets was a liberal cultural center called Teater Utan Kayu. He received remission of sentence and was released in July 2014.
Juhanda was arrested again in September 2014 after he was found with an Islamic State (ISIS) flag in Parepare, Sulawesi. At the time, he was allegedly trying to find and kill his wife.
In late August, a suicide bomber tried to attack a crowded Catholic church in the Sumatran city of Medan, but his vest failed to detonate. A drawing resembling an ISIS flag was reportedly found at the scene.