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Jakarta Post

Medan church attacker inspired by France attack: Police

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Mon, August 29, 2016   /  10:26 am
Medan church attacker inspired by France attack: Police An identity card and a piece of paper featuring the Islamic State (IS) movement’s symbol, found on a church attack suspect, are presented by the Medan Police on Aug. 28. (JP/Courtesy of Medan Police?)

A man who attacked St. Yosep Catholic Church in Medan, North Sumatra, took inspiration from an act of terror against a pastor at a church in France, a police official said on Monday.

Suspect Ivan Armadi Hasugian was allegedly inspired by an attack on a church in Rouen, Normandy, last month where a priest was killed and a parishioner wounded by Islamic State (IS) militants, Medan Police chief Sr. Comr. Mardiaz Kusin Dwihananto said. In the attack, the priest was killed with a knife.

"After watching the terror act in France through the internet, the suspect tried to do the same thing here," Mardiaz told journalists at the Medan Police headquarters. 

Police suspect 18-year-old Ivan of being an IS supporter following the discovery of the terrorist group’s symbols in his wallet. Ivan was named a suspect after churchgoers foiled his attempts to detonate a bomb and attack Rev. Albertus Pandiangan during Sunday Mass. Ivan allegedly attempted to kill Albertus, 60, with a knife and an axe but only managed to wound the priest’s left arm as churchgoers immediately restrained him.

Not much information had been gleaned from Ivan, Mardiaz said, adding that the suspect was still in shock and had difficulty speaking as he had suffered wounds to his face in the attack.

The police also questioned six witnesses in the ongoing investigation including the suspect's family members and church officials. (rin)

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