Incident Summary:

05/05/2013: An explosive device was hurled at the St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Arusha city, Arusha region, Tanzania. Three people were killed and approximately 60 others were wounded in the attack. The blast occurred as the Vatican's ambassador to Tanzania, Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, was on site to inaugurate the church; he was not harmed in the attack. No group claimed responsibility for the incident; however, sources speculate that Jumuiya ya Taasisi za Kiislam (Community of Muslim Organizations) was responsible.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (Diplomatic)
Name of Entity Vatican Secretariat of State
Specific Description Ambassador: Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla
Nationality of Target Vatican City
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity St. Joseph's Catholic Church
Specific Description Church
Nationality of Target Tanzania
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Unknown Explosive Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Four civilians were later arrested in connection with the incident.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Jumuiya ya Taasisi za Kiislam (Community of Muslim Organizations) (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 3 Fatalities / 60 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 3
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 60
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Blast hits Catholic church in northern Tanzania: police," Reuters, May 5, 2013.
"Tanzania church hit by deadly blast," BBC, May 5, 2013.
"Death toll rises to three after Arusha bomb attack," Philippines News Agency, May 8, 2013.