Fed on Facebook and jihadism, Singapore maid becomes suicide bomber in Jakarta

The woman told that she got introduced to jihadist teaching through Facebook.

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

The revelation that one of the would-be suicide bombers in Jakarta last week was a woman who worked as a domestic maid in Singapore sent shockwaves among residents as they realised how easily Isis inflitrated into the households.

The accused, identified as Dian Yulia Novi, told in an interview with local TVOne news channel that an Islamist cell in the Indonesian island of Java convinced her to be the suicide bomber in their attack on the State Palace.

Dian also said that she saw profiles of jihadists on Facebook while she was working for a household with three children and subsequently took interest in their teachings. She started collecting articles and audio clips of religious teachings on the Internet. "I did not join any groups, just looked through, but became more curious," the 27-year-old Indonesian woman said.

It was reported that Dian was introduced to Nur Solihin, another suspect involved in the palace blast plot, by somebody on social media and she used Telegram to chat with him before getting married to him a few months ago. Dian also confessed that she knew that Nur was already married and has children.

Though Dian never met her husband or exchanged photographs, she was ready to work with him and carry out the blast. It was also revealed that she did not even meet the man during the wedding rather she sent a representative for the marriage solemnisation, reported The Star.

"From the interview, she didn't sound intelligent, but naive. Without critical thinking skills, she was easily brainwashed and used by terrorists to suit their purposes," said Professor Salim Said, as reported by The Straits Times.

Terrorism analysts said that such incidents are very common as women are often dragged into terrorism through marriage. They also said that social media has recently become a popular medium through which IS leaders are encouraging sympathisers to carry out terror attacks at home.

Initial investigation reveals that all the seven detainees, including Dian, were working for new terrorist cell based in Solo, under mastermind Bahrun Naim who is also accused of spearheading Jl. MH Thamrin blast in January. They were planning to strike President Joko Widodo's office with a massive 3kg high- grade rice-cooker bomb.