Indonesia: Church attacker is violent jihadi who wanted to join ISIS in Syria

Original story: February 10

AFP, February 12, 2018. (Archive link)

The Indonesian who attacked a church congregation with a sword during Sunday Mass is a radical Islamist who had wanted to fight with the Islamic State group in Syria, police said Monday.

Around 100 people were attending the service at a Catholic church in Yogyakarta province on Java island when Suliyono, 23, barged in wielding a one-metre-long sword and began attacking terror-stricken people, seemingly indiscriminately.

Four people, including 81-year-old German-born priest Edmund Prier who was standing at the altar, were seriously injured. The extremist, who was later shot in the leg after ignoring a police warning shot, also decapitated a Virgin Mary statue with his sword.

“Suliyono had made a passport application as he attempted to go to Syria, but the application failed. He ended up launching the attack here,” said national police chief Tito Karnavian.

He said police are still investigating whether Suliyono was a “lone wolf terrorist” or part of a group….