Family photo becomes new picture of militancy in Indonesia - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Family photo becomes new picture of militancy in Indonesia

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Nanda Andrianta). In this Sunday, May 13, 2018 file photo, Surabaya Police Chief Col. Rudi Setiawan shows a picture of the family of Dita Oepriarto who carried out the church attacks on Sunday, May 13, in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. The f... (AP Photo/Nanda Andrianta). In this Sunday, May 13, 2018 file photo, Surabaya Police Chief Col. Rudi Setiawan shows a picture of the family of Dita Oepriarto who carried out the church attacks on Sunday, May 13, in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. The f...
  • U.S. & World NewsMore>>

  • APNewsBreak: Ethics complaint filed over Gianforte assault

    APNewsBreak: Ethics complaint filed over Gianforte assault

    Thursday, May 24 2018 7:37 PM EDT2018-05-24 23:37:51 GMT
    (Gallatin County via AP, File). FILE - This Aug. 25, 2017 file booking photo provided by Gallatin County, Mont., shows U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., at the Gallatin County Detention Center in Bozeman, Mont. Executive Director Nancy Keenan is askin...(Gallatin County via AP, File). FILE - This Aug. 25, 2017 file booking photo provided by Gallatin County, Mont., shows U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., at the Gallatin County Detention Center in Bozeman, Mont. Executive Director Nancy Keenan is askin...
    The head of the Montana Democratic Party is asking for a congressional ethics investigation into whether Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte lied about his attack of a reporter last year.More >>
    The head of the Montana Democratic Party is asking for a congressional ethics investigation into whether Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte lied about his attack of a reporter last year.More >>
  • Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

    Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

    Thursday, May 24 2018 7:37 PM EDT2018-05-24 23:37:41 GMT
    (Milwaukee Police Department via AP). This Jan. 26, 2018 police body-camera footage released by Milwaukee Police Department shows NBA Bucks guard Sterling Brown as he talks to arresting police officers after being shot by a stun gun in a Walgreens park...(Milwaukee Police Department via AP). This Jan. 26, 2018 police body-camera footage released by Milwaukee Police Department shows NBA Bucks guard Sterling Brown as he talks to arresting police officers after being shot by a stun gun in a Walgreens park...
    Community groups in Milwaukee are criticizing police over newly released body-camera footage of Bucks player Sterling Brown's January arrest.More >>
    Community groups in Milwaukee are criticizing police over newly released body-camera footage of Bucks player Sterling Brown's January arrest.More >>
  • Officials: Weinstein to surrender in sexual misconduct probe

    Officials: Weinstein to surrender in sexual misconduct probe

    Thursday, May 24 2018 7:37 PM EDT2018-05-24 23:37:27 GMT
    Law enforcement officials say Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to authorities Friday morning to face criminal charges in a months-long investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted women.More >>
    Law enforcement officials say Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to authorities Friday morning to face criminal charges in a months-long investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted women.More >>

By MARGIE MASON
Associated Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - In the photo, the mother rests one hand on her youngest son's arm. Two little sisters in the front hold flowers against matching red head scarves. Dad stands in the back next to the oldest son who has already outgrown him. The six are dressed in happy prints and colors - a purple batik shirt, a pink flowered dress - and Mom's flowing headscarf is the color of sky.

It appears to be a picture of a happy middle-class Indonesian family. But it has shocked the world's most populous Muslim nation this week by becoming its new face of militant violence.

Friends and neighbors describe the Muslim parents as normal and nice, associating regularly with Christians who lived nearby and letting their home-schooled children play with others in the neighborhood.

But on Sunday, they fanned out with suicide bombs attached to themselves and their children, attacking three churches. The entire family was killed in Indonesia's second-largest city of Surabaya. At least 13 people died in the churches and more than 40 others were injured. The youngest human bomb, the little girl staring directly at the camera with big brown eyes, was just 8 years old. Her big sister was 12.

Before people had time to fully process that children had been used for the first time to carry out a suicide attack in Indonesia, it happened again. Another family - including a 7-year-old child who survived - participated in a similar suicide mission at police headquarters in the same city on Monday.

Three members of a third family also died when homemade bombs exploded in their apartment Sunday night, and three children survived.

Police said their investigation found the three families knew each other and came together on Sundays to study and recite the Quran. They indoctrinated their children in various ways at the meetings, including showing violent jihadist videos, East Java police chief Machfud Arifin said.

The father who carried out the church bombings, Dita Oepriarto, headed the Surabaya cell of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, an Indonesian network of extremist groups affiliated with the Islamic State group, police said.

In all, 26 people - including 13 militants and their children - died since Sunday. Authorities say the surviving children are being treated for physical and mental issues and will eventually be placed with safe family members.

"For the kids, I think this is craziness," said Taufik Andrie, who runs an Indonesian institute that helps rehabilitate former militants ready to rejoin society. "It's the first time in Indonesia. I'm afraid this will be a new trend."

Indonesia suffered its worst terrorist attack in 2002 on the resort island of Bali when 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, were killed in nightclub bombings. Jemaah Islamiyah, an al-Qaida-affiliated network, was responsible. The country has been relatively quiet in recent years after major cells connected to larger organized groups were stamped out.

The new spate of bombings comes just ahead of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, and follows a melee at a detention center near Jakarta last week in which jailed Muslim extremists killed six officers. Andrie said much information leaked out after the incident, likely inciting others to act. IS has claimed responsibility for the recent violence in both cities.

"I think the message is simply that they can create momentum," he said. "And they don't want to lose it."

Using women and children in militant attacks has long been a tactic deployed in other countries - Nigerian terror group Boko Haram often uses children as suicide bombers.

Experts say more than 1,000 Indonesians have gone abroad to help IS, and their return raises new worries.

"We've got hundreds of fighters coming back. Probably the Indonesians don't even know how many are coming back," said Bilveer Singh, a political science professor at the National University of Singapore. "If you don't get this thing right, then you are going to get more and more terrorist attacks in the coming months and years."

He said the buildup to Indonesia's presidential election next year coupled with growing religious intolerance could spark new violence, especially if Islam is used as a politicizing weapon. President Joko "Jokowi " Widodo has struggled to push through anti-terror legislation proposed since 2016 which would make it easier for law enforcement officers to go after extremists. In condemning the recent attacks, he vowed to issue an emergency presidential decree if parliament continues to drag its feet.

"I'm not afraid of the bombing. I think it's the rising radicalization and growing intolerance of Indonesia," Singh said. "It has been moving in a very dangerous way, and it has not been stopped. And I think the danger of Indonesia is not tomorrow. The danger of Indonesia is in the next five to 10 years."

___

Associated Press writer Niniek Karmini in Surabaya, Indonesia, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Condemned killer blames attack on 'homosexual panic'

    Condemned killer blames attack on 'homosexual panic'

    Thursday, May 24 2018 7:38 PM EDT2018-05-24 23:38:02 GMT
    (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction via AP, File). FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shows death row inmate Robert Van Hook, convicted of the fatal 1985 strangling and stabbing...(Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction via AP, File). FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shows death row inmate Robert Van Hook, convicted of the fatal 1985 strangling and stabbing...
    Attorneys for a condemned killer are asking that their client be spared, saying he experienced a "homosexual panic" of self-revulsion before killing a man he picked up at an Ohio bar.More >>
    Attorneys for a condemned killer are asking that their client be spared, saying he experienced a "homosexual panic" of self-revulsion before killing a man he picked up at an Ohio bar.More >>
  • Study: Some public pensions funds could run dry in downturn

    Study: Some public pensions funds could run dry in downturn

    Thursday, May 24 2018 7:38 PM EDT2018-05-24 23:38:01 GMT
    A new study finds that some public pension funds are in such bad shape that they might be totally depleted during an economic downturn.More >>
    A new study finds that some public pension funds are in such bad shape that they might be totally depleted during an economic downturn.More >>
  • Officials trade blame after teen arrested in officer's death

    Officials trade blame after teen arrested in officer's death

    Thursday, May 24 2018 7:37 PM EDT2018-05-24 23:37:56 GMT
    (Lloyd Fox/The Baltimore Sun via AP). Police officers console one another while waiting to get into the viewing for slain Baltimore County police officer Amy Caprio in Nottingham, Md., Thursday, May 24, 2018. Caprio died Monday after she was run over b...(Lloyd Fox/The Baltimore Sun via AP). Police officers console one another while waiting to get into the viewing for slain Baltimore County police officer Amy Caprio in Nottingham, Md., Thursday, May 24, 2018. Caprio died Monday after she was run over b...
    An officer's death has authorities in Maryland blaming each other for putting a troubled teen now charged with murder on home arrest.More >>
    An officer's death has authorities in Maryland blaming each other for putting a troubled teen now charged with murder on home arrest.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.