Thu, Jun 14, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Indonesian police arrest key JI terrorism suspect


Indonesian police yesterday said they captured a leader of the Southeast Asian terror network blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings and a string of other devastating attacks in recent years.

The arrest of Abu Dujana, 37, believed to head a special forces unit within Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) -- which has been linked to al-Qaeda -- is a major breakthrough for Indonesia's efforts to curb the activities of the group.

Dujana was among suspected militants detained in a series of weekend raids carried out by Indonesia's anti-terror unit, Detachment 88, police spokesman Sisno Adiwinoto told a press briefing.

"The person that was arrested on Saturday, Yusron Mahmudi, has many aliases and one of them is Abu Dujana," Adiwinoto said, adding that Dujana was known under at least six names.

Abu Dujana "is known to be more important than Noordin M. Top or Azahari Husin," he said, referring to two Malaysian members of Jemaah Islamiyah.

Azahari was killed by Indonesian police in a raid in November 2005, while Noordin Muhammad Top, who has been described as Southeast Asia's most wanted man, remains on the run.

Dujana, who according to police studied in Pakistan, trained in Afghanistan and personally met Osama bin Laden, is believed to have sheltered Noordin, who is thought to head a militant Jemaah Islamiyah splinter group.

Sidney Jones, the Southeast Asia director of think tank International Crisis Group, said Dujana was a key Jemaah Islamiyah figure.

"He's not the overall commander but he's a person who has been with the organization from the beginning, who has been a member of the central command almost from the beginning and who has been privy to all information about changes in structure and operating techniques," she said. "He also, we think, is the head of a special forces unit within JI, so no question -- this is one of the biggest people they've caught in a long time."

Adiwinoto said that possible charges to be laid against Dujana would be terrorism, ownership of explosives, sheltering suspects and conspiracy.

Seven other men suspected of involvement in terror acts have also been detained since Dujana's capture, he said, adding they had been planning further attacks.

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