A man believed to be the top leader of a Southeast Asian terror group has been arrested by the national police’s counter-terrorism special forces or Densus 88, in Bekasi on Friday.
Ita Puspita Lena, a public relations officer from the resort police for Bogor area, has confirmed the arrest today.
Para Wijayanto, who had replaced Abu Husna as the leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI) in 2008, was finally caught after a 16-year-hunt by the police. He is in his mid 50s.
After the arrest, the police took Wijayanto to his rented home at a residential complex in Cibinong, West Java, where they confiscated 10 sharp weapons, books, a mobile phone, and a video camera. “He is the emir of Jemaah Islamiah, which has been declared a terrorist organisation and is banned,” a police officer confirmed.
The JI network is known to be the mastermind behind Indonesia’s deadliest bomb attacks. They were responsible for the Bali bombings in 2002, which killed more than 200 people, and the 2009 attacks on JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta.
Para Wijayanto first appeared on police radars back in 2003, after his role in several bombing attacks. “Para Wijayanto has, since 2003, been on the run, but he is still active in Jemaah Islamiah or Neo-Jemaah Islamiah. He had knowledge and gave nods to members of Jemaah Islamiah who wanted to travel to Syria,” a police officer told Berita Satu.
Source: The Straits Times, Berita Satu
Image: South China Morning Post