Terror in Indonesia: Axe-wielding ISIS jihadi, 18, stabs Catholic priest, 60, before trying to blow up hundreds of worshippers during Sunday Mass
- Priest Albert Pandiangan stabbed in the arm and taken to hospital when the young fanatic attacked him
- Then tried to set off homemade backpack bomb inside the church on Indonesian island of Sumatra today
- Congregation then detained suspect, who was covered in blood when police later took him into custody
- Officers found his ID card and an hand-drawn ISIS flag in his belongings and are trying to establish motive
An ISIS suicide bomber today attacked a Catholic priest with an axe as he tried to blow up hundreds of worshippers at a church during Sunday Mass.
Priest Albert Pandiangan, 60, was holding the holy ceremony at the altar when the 18-year-old fanatic rushed towards the altar with a backback bomb and tried to blow himself up.
But the bomb burned without setting off the explosives, so the jihadi pulled an axe from his bag and attacked the priest at St Yoseph Church in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra in Indonesia.
Hundreds of people could have been killed if the bomb had gone off inside the church in Indonesia but the device failed
The congregation detained the suspected terroris and a bomb disposal squad later arrived as he had tried to set off a homemade explosive device at the church
The congregation then stepped in and managed to wrestle the axe from his grasp, detaining him until the police arrived.
As officers marched the suspect to the car, pictures show his white trousers soaked in blood. Police found his ID card and a picture of the ISIS flag.
The young fanatic also told police that he was not working alone.
He was later pictured at the police station with an officer holding his bloody head off the ground, where he was lying handcuffed.
‘Somebody tried to kill the priest by pretending to attend the church service and at that time tried to explode something, like a firecracker, but the firecracker didn’t explode, it only fumed,’ chief detective Nur Fallah said.
The priest suffered slight injuries and has been taken to hospital near where it happened in the city of Medan on the western island of Sumatra.
A picture of the attacker’s ID card circulating online said he was Muslim.
In recent years there have been a number of attacks on religious minorities and others in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.
Indonesian police (pictured arrived in numbers in what is yet another attack on ethnic minorities in the country, which is majority Muslim
Officers continued to guard the church after the incident earlier today, which sent shockwaves through the small Christian community that exists on the island
The suspect had blood-soaked trousers and was seen being marched out of the church by people who appeared to be members of the public today
A suicide attack in the Indonesian capital in January killed four attackers and four civilians, including a Westerner, and injured 19.
In July a suicide bomber linked to the Islamic State group blew himself up outside a police station in Central Java.
Churchgoers on Sunday quickly caught the attacker and called the police.
An eyewitness, Markus Harianto Manullan, said the assailant wore a jacket and carried a bag.
‘He sat in the same row as I did… I saw him fiddling with something in his jacket, and then I heard a small explosion and he immediately ran to the podium,’ Manullan said.
Police are still investigating the man’s motive.