Islamic Militancy

Indonesian police kill man wielding pipe bombs, machetes and IS symbol

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 October, 2016, 2:49pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 October, 2016, 10:19pm

Indonesian police shot dead a man carrying knives, suspected pipe bombs and a symbol of the Islamic State group after he launched a daylight assault on officers near Jakarta on Thursday, an official said.

The man was shot three times as he stabbed wildly at officers on a busy intersection in Tangerang, a satellite city outside the capital, Jakarta police spokesman Awi Setiyono said.

Setiyono said the perpetrator threw two suspected pipe bombs at the officers, but neither detonated, and displayed a symbol of the IS group on a nearby traffic pole during the frenzied attack.

Footage broadcast showed the man limping around a busy city road carrying weapons including what appeared to be a pipe bomb. At one point, the footage showed him running toward an officer.

“A man suddenly stuck an IS logo sticker on a traffic police post, took a machete from his bag and blindly attacked our personnel,” Setiyono said.

Watch: Indonesian news footage of the attack

The attacker, Sultan Azianzah, 21, was unemployed and a member of Daulah Islam, a hardline group in Ciamis in West Java province, said Setiyono.

Three officers were injured and taken to hospital, while the attacker was also taken for medical treatment under police guard. He later died from his injuries.

Police have often been the target of attacks by extremists in Indonesia, a country that has long struggled with Islamic militancy.

In January, police officers were targeted by gunmen and suicide bombers at a traffic post in central Jakarta. The IS-claimed attack left four civilians and four militants dead, and injured several police officers.

On Thursday, an Indonesian court sentenced an Islamic militant to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the attack.

Police and military personnel have also been killed in clashes with extremists in a remote part of Sulawesi, where for years a ragtag militant group has been waging a conflict against security forces from their jungle hideout.

In July, a militant blew himself up at a police station in the town of Solo, injuring one officer.

Police in August arrested Islamic State supporters plotting to launch a rocket at Singapore’s Marina Bay casino resort area using a boat from the nearby Indonesian island of Batam.

Indonesia suffered significant attacks in the 2000s including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people, mostly foreign tourists.

Authorities believe Islamic State has more than 1,200 followers in Indonesia and nearly 400 Indonesians have left to join the group in Syria.

Police are on the alert in case more Indonesians return home after Iraqi forces this week launched an offensive to take back the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul.

Authorities are monitoring about 40 returnees, concerned they could be linking up with existing networks, police chief Tito Karnavian said.

Additional reporting by Associated Press and Reuters