The woman who blew herself up along with her child in the city of Sibolga, North Sumatra, yesterday morning was extremely radicalized, police say, as more information has come to light about the family of suspected terrorists since the suicide bombing took place.
The National Police says Abu Hamzah, the suspected terrorist who was arrested prior to the suicide bombing committed by his wife, testified that his wife was more extreme in adopting the values of the Islamic State (IS) terror group, which could explain why she was willing to blow herself up with her child in their home following hours of standoff with the police.
“AH (Abu Hamzah) told Densus 88 (counter-terrorism unit) investigators that his wife is more radical than he ever was. She was more militant,” National Police Spokesperson Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo told reporters yesterday evening, as quoted by Suara.
Dedi also revealed that the police actually took Abu Hamzah to the scene of the standoff to convince his wife to stand down and surrender, but she refused.
“That’s why after negotiations that lasted almost 10 hours, his wife had the courage to commit suicide by bomb. We tried to convince her [to surrender] because there was a small child there,” he said.
According to reports that have emerged since the suicide bomb, the child was only two years old.
Based on the police’s chronology of events detailed by Detik, Densus 88 arrested Abu Hamzah, a suspected IS-linked terrorist in the North Sumatra city of Sibolga at 2:23 pm on Tuesday. The police say Abu Hamzah is part of the same terror group as a 23-year-old suspected terrorist who had been arrested in the city of Lampung on Saturday, after he was reported to the police by his parents.
At 2:50 pm, a bomb exploded inside Abu Hamzah’s house on Jalan KH Ahmad Dahlan after Densus 88 had raided it to search for evidence. It’s understood that Abu Hamzah’s wife — who has yet to be identified — resisted arrest before the blast, which wounded an officer and a civilian.
A standoff between Densus 88 and Abu Hamzah’s wife then ensued for hours. At 2 am the next day and still refusing surrender, police say the wife committed suicide by bomb, also killing her child who was with her at the time.
The police say Abu Hamzah is a member of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), the banned ISIS-linked organization also accused of being behind last year horrific suicide bombings in Surabaya — two of which involved suspected terrorists bringing their children along with them in suicide attacks — and the deadly attack in Thamrin, Jakarta in January 2016.