Indonesia Arrests Six Over ISIS-Inspired Church Attack That Killed Toddler

Indonesia attack inspired by ISIS
An Indonesian policeman stands guard outside the Oikume Church after a man allegedly threw Molotov cocktails toward it, Samarinda, East Kalimantan, November 13. One child was killed, police said. Stringer/AFP/Getty

Indonesian authorities have arrested six men suspected of involvement in a radical Islamist attack on a church Sunday that left one child dead.

An attacker, wearing a shirt that bore the word "jihad" on it, threw Molotov cocktails at the church on the island of Borneo while riding a motorbike.

The attack left two-year-old girl Intan Olivia Marbun dead and injured three children between the ages of two and four years old as they played in the car park of the place of worship in the city of Samarinda.

"Unfortunately, the doctors could not save the victim... she died early this morning," local police spokesman Fajar Setiawan told AFP news agency.

Police arrested the main suspect in the attack, saying that he is a radical Islamist militant who they had jailed in 2011 for a parcel-bomb plot.

They arrested five other suspects Monday in connection with the attack. National police chief Tito Karnavian called them "old players" in Indonesia's Islamist scene. "Their aim is to incite violence, I urge people to remain calm," said Karnavian.

He added that all of those arrested were members of the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, a local militant group that supports the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).

Indonesia has experienced several ISIS-inspired attacks and foiled many plots in the last year. In October, Indonesian police shot and killed a man inspired by ISIS who attacked and injured three police officers with a machete.

In July, Indonesian security forces killed the country's most-wanted Islamic extremist, Santoso, after five years of searching for the jihadi leader and ISIS supporter.

An ISIS-affiliated cell carried out the Jakarta attacks in January and authorities believe that Santoso's group had links to those who perpetrated the assault that left four civilians and four attackers dead. He had appeared in video footage threatening attacks against Indonesian targets.