JAKARTA, Jan. 5, 01 (CWNews.com/Fides)- Indonesian Army
Special Forces are behind deadly bombings in 10 towns in
Indonesia in Christmas Eve that killed 16 people and
injured almost 100, according to Christian sources in the
A suspected member of the National Defence Forces was found
to have infiltrated the Karmat Franciscan community in
Central Java. On December 31, Jakarta police detained a man
thought to be involved in the Christmas Eve bomb explosion
in Jakarta Cathedral. The man, who was living in the
Franciscans' house, gave his name as Hieronymus, but
according to identity papers found later in his room, his
name is Khairullah.
Father Sandyawan Sumardi, SJ, said a police officer gave a
tip-off that the man was an intelligence officer from the
Indonesian Army Special Forces. The priest, who supports
the "Indonesia Damai," a network for investigation and
political pressure over the bombing, told Fides the man had
inside information about the church site since he joined the
Cathedral church's crew of workers on December 23 before the
Police later claimed the man was "insane." However, the
secretary of the Indonesia Damai called for further
investigation. He said that infiltration took place also in
other bombing locations at churches. The Indonesia Damai
includes pro-democratic activists and reformists.
Franciscan monk Cyprianus, who accepted the man, told Fides
he could hardly believe the development of the case of
"Hieronymus," as the man presented himself as a sympathizer
of the Order, interested in possibly becoming a Franciscan.
Cyprianus said Hieronymus helped to prepare the Christmas
celebration with decoration and security. Only later, while
searching the man's room, Cyprianus found an identity card
with the name of Khairullah, which the community handed
over to the police.
The Catholic Bishops of Indonesia agree that powerful
groups are behind the violence. An official statement of
the Bishops' Conference said: "Behind the deftly-planned
and executed bombings there is a well-organized, highly
influential power, possessing a network and funds."
Three almost simultaneous bomb blasts about on Christmas
Eve devastated three Catholic churches: the gothic
Cathedral in Central Jakarta, St. Joseph's parish church,
and the Kanisius Menteng Jesuit high school. A little later
another bomb exploded near the Koinonia Protestant church in
east Jakarta. Police found several bombs in other cities
like Pakanbaru and Medan in Sumatra; Batam, south of
Singapore; Sukabumi and Bandung in West Java; Mojokerto in
East Java; and Mataram in West Nusatenggara.
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