News analysis

Even wives and children of terrorists become fair game

The authorities have work cut out for them in addressing threat posed by women and kids

Left: Officers standing guard outside the police headquarters after the attack in Surabaya yesterday. Above: A mourner grieving at a memorial for Ms Sri Puji, one of the victims killed in Sunday's Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church attack, ahead of h
Officers standing guard outside the police headquarters after the attack in Surabaya yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS
Police providing cover as fellow officers search a man after the blast at the police headquarters in Surabaya. There is now an unprecedented willingness by ISIS to contemplate deploying women as terrorists, according to one study.
Police providing cover as fellow officers search a man after the blast at the police headquarters in Surabaya. There is now an unprecedented willingness by ISIS to contemplate deploying women as terrorists, according to one study.PHOTO: REUTERS
Left: Officers standing guard outside the police headquarters after the attack in Surabaya yesterday. Above: A mourner grieving at a memorial for Ms Sri Puji, one of the victims killed in Sunday's Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church attack, ahead of h
Above: A mourner grieving at a memorial for Ms Sri Puji, one of the victims killed in Sunday's Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church attack, ahead of her funeral yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The world was shocked on Sunday to learn that an Indonesian couple had involved their four children, one of whom was just nine years old, in a coordinated suicide attack on three churches across Surabaya.

The church bombings in Indonesia's second largest city claimed 18 lives, including the family of six who mounted the strike, and injured more than 40.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2018, with the headline 'Even wives and children of terrorists become fair game'. Subscribe