Eenee, Meenee, Mianee Mo! Catch a Terrorist by the Toe!
Arrest of Jamaah Islamiyah Ringleaders and Bali Bombing Masterminds Hailed as Major Victory in the War on Terror.
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Over 15 suspected terrorists have been arrested by Indonesia's elite Special Detachment 88 during a week long sweep at various locations in West and Central Java. Among those apprehended are Zakarsih and Abu Dujana, believed by police to be masterminds of the armed wing of Jamaah Islamiyah(JI) and fundamentally involved in the 2002 and 2005 bombings of Bali nightspots.
A Ba'asyir Link?
Now undergoing intensive police interrogation, the Jakarta Post reports that the arrested terror suspect have testified on tape that the Javanese cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir once led their group. Ba'asyir, an outspoken Islamic radical who was jailed briefly for immigration violations, has thus far evaded conviction on more serious terrorism-related charges. Ba'asyir has consistently denied any connection to terrorists or terrorist groups in Indonesia attempting to establish a pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia.
JI has been credited by terrorism experts for the two terrorist attacks in Bali on 2002 and 2005, the 2003 attack on the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, the 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy in Indonesia’s capital, and bombing attacks on churches and public places in Jakarta and Sulawesi.
Police have described Abu Dujana as a "a very dangerous and clever man." Police also cited the Dujana as a foreign-trained expert in weaponry and bomb making who prior to his arrest controlled JI in Indonesia.
Vice-President: Terror Network has Been Dismantled
The latest arrests are seen as a major blow to the enemy in Indonesia's war on terrorism with Vice-President Jusuf Kalla telling the press that "the (terror) network has been dismantled" and that it was only a matter of time before Malaysian terrorist Noordin Muhammad Top is apprehended by authorities. In November 2005, fellow Malaysian terrorist Dr. Azahari died in a hail of bullets when police descended on his hide-out near Malang, East Java. [See: Terrorizing the Terrorists]
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