Islamic Violence Ramps Up During Ramadan

by David Nussman  •  •  May 17, 2018   

Jihadist attack on police headquarters is latest in series of deadly plots

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PEKANBARU, Indonesia ( - Jihadis in Indonesia attacked a police station on Wednesday morning, at the outset of Ramadan. The attack killed one and injured three others.

In Pekanbaru, on the island of Sumatra, a van rammed into the police headquarters for Riau Province. Four men armed with samurai swords came out of the vehicle and began attacking officers. Two officers and one journalist were injured by the men with swords, but the police shot and killed the four attackers.

A fifth man, the driver of the van, tried to drive away. He hit and killed one police officer in the process. The driver was arrested and is in police custody.

The sword attack took place on the first day of Ramadan, a time when Muslims engage in rigorous fasting. Writing about Wednesday's attack, Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch explained the significance of Ramadan to terrorists, noting, "Ramadan is the month of Jihad, the month when Muslims strive to please Allah more fervently."

Spencer continued, "And so, because murdering infidels who are considered to be at war with Allah is a pious act, there is generally more bloodshed during Ramadan than during the rest of the year."

For Islamic militants, it is a month to make the greatest sacrifice possible for their religion by dying in the name of Jihad. It is well known, for instance, that ISIS uses Ramadan as a time to urge its members and sympathizers to perpetrate terrorist attacks.

Investigators said Wednesday's attackers were members of the Indonesian Islamic State, a terror group with links to ISIS.

There is generally more bloodshed during Ramadan than during the rest of the year.

Wednesday's van-and-swords attack was the latest in a wave of Islamic violence in Indonesia, a country whose population is 87-percent Muslim.

Earlier this week, there was a slew of deadly ISIS-inspired suicide bombings in Surabaya — Indonesia's second-largest city. These bombings targeted Christian churches and the police.

Sunday morning, a Muslim man and his wife orchestrated three suicide bombings against Christian churches, using their four children in the attacks. The couple and their children all died in the bombings.


Fires burn at Pentecostal Central Church in Surabaya

following the suicide bombing Sunday morning.

(Credit: CNN)

The mother of the family took her 9-year-old and 12-year-old daughters into Indonesian Christian Church and detonated an explosive. Her husband, the father of the family, killed himself in an explosion in a van outside of Pentecostal Central Church. Meanwhile, the couple's two sons, who were 16 and 18 years old, also conducted a suicide bombing at Santa Maria Catholic Church.

The coordinated terror attacks on Sunday left 12 dead and 41 hospitalized. ISIS claimed responsibility, and investigation revealed that the family was connected to Jihadi terror group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).

It is known that JAD members want vengeance for the recent imprisonment of several of their high-ranking leaders.

Later on Sunday, a bomb detonated prematurely in a suburb outside Surabaya, killing a mother and her 17-year-old daughter. Police found the father of the family holding a detonator and shot him with the intent to prevent an explosion.

Lastly, there was an attack on the Surabaya police headquarters Monday morning. A family of five rode two motorcycles up to the headquarters' gate and triggered the explosives, injuring 10 people. One member of the family, a 7-year-old girl, survived the explosion. She can be seen on video standing up and stumbling away from the rubble until a bystander ran in and carried her to safety.

According to authorities, the father of the family who bombed the churches was close friends with the man responsible for the accidental detonation. This led to speculation that these recent attacks in Indonesia might be pieces of a large, coordinated scheme.

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