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Indonesia arrests key leader of al-Qaeda-affiliated group

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s elite counter-terrorism unit has arrested a convicted militant and suspected chief of an al-Qaida-affiliated group…

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesia’s elite counter-terrorism unit has arrested a convicted militant and suspected chief of an al-Qaida-affiliated group blamed for a collection of earlier bombings within the nation, Indonesian police stated Monday.

Abu Rusdan was seized late Friday in Bekasi, close to the capital of Jakarta, together with three different suspected members of Jemaah Islamiyah, police spokesman Ahmad Ramadhan stated.

“He’s at the moment recognized to be lively among the many leaders of the illegitimate Jemaah Islamiyah community,” Ramadhan informed the Related Press.

Indonesian authorities contemplate Russia a key determine within the Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been designated a terrorist group by the US. The shadowy Southeast Asian community is extensively blamed for assaults within the Philippines and Indonesia, together with the 2002 bombings on the Indonesian vacation island of Bali that killed 202 individuals, largely overseas vacationers.

Ramadhan described the arrests as a part of a wider nationwide crackdown on the group. Police are nonetheless on the lookout for different suspected members, following ideas that the group was recruiting and coaching new members in Indonesia.

Central Java-born Rusdan, 61, was sentenced to jail in 2003 for internet hosting Ali Ghufron, a militant later convicted and executed for finishing up the Bali bombings.

After his launch from jail in 2006, Rusdan traveled throughout Indonesia to ship speeches and fiery sermons that obtained tens of hundreds of views on YouTube. In a recorded sermon, he praised Afghanistan because the “land of jihad” — the nation the place he had beforehand skilled with different militant teams.

Indonesia’s counter-terrorist unit, generally known as Densus 88, has arrested 53 alleged members of the Jemaah in 11 completely different provinces in current weeks.

An Indonesian court docket banned the group in 2008, and continued crackdown by the nation’s safety forces with the help of the US and Australia has helped weaken the militant community.

A spokesman for Indonesia’s Nationwide Intelligence Service, Wawan Hari Purwanto, stated in a video assertion early this month that after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, officers have stepped up their efforts for early detection and prevention “notably towards terrorist teams related to the Taliban.” ideology and networks.”

The crackdown on terrorism in Indonesia has been occurring for months.

Up to now 12 months, Indonesian officers have stated counter-terrorism forces have captured dozens of militants and suspected members of the Jemaah, together with the alleged army chief, Zulkarnaen, who has been wished for greater than 18 years.

Militant assaults on foreigners in Indonesia have largely been changed lately by smaller, much less lethal assaults concentrating on the federal government, primarily police and safety forces, impressed by Islamic State ways overseas.

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