In Sibolga, North Sumatra province, the wife of a suspected terrorist blew herself up along with one of her children using a rudimentary explosive device in the middle of the night, a few hours after her husband’s arrest.
Hours of tense negotiations between the woman and the anti-terrorist police unit to convince her to surrender came to nought. Religious leaders and family members, including her husband Husein (aka Abu Hamzah) tried to get her to surrender.
“We have received information that the wife blew herself and the children up at 1:30 am,” National Police spokesman Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo said.
Husein’s wife, whose identity was not revealed, activated the detonator as the bomb squad and agents of the Special Detachment 88 (Detasemen Khusus 88 or Densus 88) surrounded her home.
The standoff lasted about 12 hours. During this time, the woman threw an explosive device at security forces, wounding a police officer and a civilian.
The investigators believe that her husband heads the local cell of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), the largest jihadist group linked to the Islamic State (IS) group in the country.
Husein was arrested yesterday after the interrogation of another suspected militant, Rinto Sugiharto, who was arrested in Lampung (South Sumatera) on Saturday with plans for an attack in Jakarta.
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was scheduled to visit Lampung on Sunday. Today, Widodo praised the work of the intelligence services, but dismissed suggestions that planned terror attacks are linked to the upcoming general election on 17 April 2019.