Wannabe Indonesian terrorist hurt in botched suicide bombing

Seven policemen escape injury after 'lone-wolf' attacker detonates low-grade explosives ahead of Eid celebrations
Wannabe Indonesian terrorist hurt in botched suicide bombing

Indonesian police guard a police post after a suspected suicide bomber detonated a bomb in front of the post in Kartasura, in central Java on June 3. (Photo by Anwar Mustafa/AFP)

A sympathizer of the so-called Islamic State (IS) has ended up in hospital after a botched suicide bombing on June 3 outside a police post in Indonesia’s Central Java province.

Rofik Asharudin, 22, suffered injuries to his stomach, hands and legs after detonating explosives strapped to his waist, National Police spokesman, Dedi Prasetyo, told journalists.

He was being treated in hospital in the provincial capital Semarang.

Seven police officers were on duty at the security post in Kartasura sub-district when the blast occurred. They were monitoring traffic during the annual end of Ramadan exodus prior to the Eid'l Fitr holiday

Nobody was hurt other than the bomber, Prasetyo said.

A search of the bomber’s home by anti-terrorist police found bomb-making equipment, the police spokesman said, adding that the would-be suicide bomber was influenced by IS teachings.

Police had already spoken to the bomber, but would interview him further when he has recovered sufficiently, Prasetyo said. 

It is believed Asharudin could be a lone wolf terrorist since no link has yet been found between him and known terror networks, such as the IS-linked Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).

In May last year suspected members of the group bombed three churches in Indonesia’s second largest city Surabaya, killing 28 people.

Ridwan Habib, a terrorism expert at University of Indonesia, said the very nature of the attack indicated that Asharudin acted alone. 

Habib said Asharudin was evidently not a skilled bomb maker, as his device comprised low-grade explosive material such as found in fireworks.

The attack was also carried out near his home after 10.p.m. when few people were around.

“According to eyewitnesses, he appeared hesitant in getting closer to the police post, suggesting he was an amateur and emotionally unstable young man who was influenced by radical teachings,” he said.

The attack bore similarities to one in 2017, in which a lone suicide bomber blew himself up just before Eid al-Fitr celebrations at a police station in Solo, also in Central Java province. The bomber died and several policemen were injured in the blast. 

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