Indonesia Security Chief Stabbed in Attack Linked to ISIS


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JAKARTA, Indonesia — A married couple who appear to have been inspired by the Islamic State attacked Indonesia’s chief security minister, Wiranto, as he visited western Java on Thursday, the police said.

Mr. Wiranto, 72, a former general who like many Indonesians uses one name, suffered two stab wounds to his stomach, said the national police spokesman, Dedi Prasetyo.

“It was very quick and spontaneous,” he said.

Mr. Wiranto was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Jakarta, the capital, for treatment and was said to be in stable condition. There was no immediately claim of responsibility by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, but the authorities said the husband and wife had been inspired by the extremist group.

“It is confirmed that the perpetrators were exposed to ISIS radicalism through social media,” Mr. Dedi said in a telephone interview.

Hundreds of Indonesians traveled to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State when the extremist group was a the height of its power, and others have carried out attacks at home in the name of the terrorist group.

Last year, a family of five blew themselves up in back-to-back bombings at three Christian churches, killing 12 bystanders and wounding at least 40. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for those attacks.

The attackers on Thursday approached Mr. Wiranto as he got out of his vehicle in the town of Menes in Banten Province, about 60 miles west of Jakarta. He had previously attended an event at the nearby Mathla’ul Anwar University.

The husband was carrying two knives, Mr. Dedi said, but police officers intervened before the wife, who was wielding scissors, could also stab Mr. Wiranto. Two police officers were injured.

The couple were arrested at the scene. A video taken shortly after the attack showed officers holding a man and a woman on the ground before taking them away in handcuffs.

Mr. Wiranto has played a key role in the cabinet of President Joko Widodo, most recently overseeing the government response to rioting in Papua, which has claimed dozens of lives.

In 2003, United Nations prosecutors charged Mr. Wiranto with crimes against humanity for his role in the violence over a 1999 referendum on independence for East Timor, which was then part of Indonesia. He has denied committing any crimes and was never prosecuted.

Mr. Wiranto ran unsuccessfully for president in 2004 and for vice president in 2009.

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