A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up outside police headquarters
in Indonesia's city of Medan today, wounding six people, police
said, just a month after an Islamist militant attacked a former
The motive for the morning blast was not immediately clear, but
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, has
suffered a resurgence in homegrown militancy in recent years, with
some attacks targeting police.
National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said the perpetrator had died
and four officers and two civilians, one of whom was a police
employee had been wounded by the blast in a car park at Medan police
headquarters at 8.40am (local time).
"All pieces found at the scene will be tested by a forensic lab to
determine the type of bomb," Prasetyo told a news conference.
Indonesia's anti-terrorism unit, Densus 88, was investigating whether
it was a "lone wolf" attack or linked to a radical group like the
Islamic State-inspired Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which has carried
out a series of attacks in the country, he said.
Television broadcast images showed smoke and a shower of fragments
coming from the parking lot area and people rushing out of buildings
around the headquarters after the blast.
The suspected attacker, who was wearing a jacket and had a backpack, had
his bag checked before entering the car park near an area where people
were queuing up for clearance letters, said North Sumatra police
spokesman Tatan Dirsan Atmaja.
The attack comes a month after a suspected Islamist stabbed and
wounded Wiranto, Indonesia's former security minister, after he had
opened a university building in Pandeglang, west of Jakarta. Wiranto,
who like many Indonesians uses just one name, has since been
discharged from hospital after undergoing surgery.
The government scrambled to tighten its anti-terrorism laws after a
series of suicide bombings linked to the JAD group killed more than 30
people in Surabaya last year.
Foreseeing an increased threat of attacks from Indonesians who joined
Islamic State and have begun returning from the Middle East, police
have detained hundreds of suspects since the start of the year.
Police spokesman Prasetyo said a man was arrested yesterday in Bekasi,
near Jakarta. He said the man was believed to have fought in Syria and
was a suspected JAD member, though he did not draw a direct link to
the attack in Medan.
Stanislaus Riyanta, a terrorism expert, said the attack in Medan could
be in retaliation for the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi, who killed himself last month during a US commando raid on his compound in Syria. - Reuters