Police confirm capture of Indonesia's most-wanted man

Mark Forbes Herald Correspondent in Jakarta and Craig Skehan
Brisbane Times
June 14, 2007

IN THEIR first confirmation of the capture of Indonesia's most wanted man, police have detailed how the military head of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist network, Abu Dujana, was shot in the thigh as he tried to escape.

Police had refused to confirm Dujana's capture since Saturday, when he was intercepted by an anti-terrorist taskforce in central Java. An Indonesian police spokesman, Sisno Adiwinoto, said police confirmed his identity using DNA tests only on Monday night.

Dujana, 37, was shot in the right thigh as he tried to escape on his motorbike near his house in Banyumas, central Java. He is a key member of JI's leadership group, fought and trained in Afghanistan and knew the al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.

"He was involved generally in the first Bali bombing, Poso [religious conflict] and others," said Inspector-General Adiwinoto, who described Dujana as a field commander, strategic planner and bomb expert. He predicted Dujana's arrest would weaken JI.

The Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, said yesterday that his officers had provided intelligence analysis as well as forensic and other technical assistance for the Indonesian police operation.

Mr Keelty described the capture as a "breakthrough".

"This man has evaded authorities for almost five years and it is believed he had been influential in the recruitment for, and expansion of, the Jemaah Islamiah network," he said.

Indonesian police said yesterday that another operation assisted by Australian police resulted in the arrest of two major people smugglers responsible for sending 83 Sri Lankans to Australia from Indonesia earlier this year. The pair, from Sri Lanka, are in custody in Jakarta.

The operation identified Chandra Babu as the Indonesian head of an international operation attempting to smuggle large numbers of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka. Police also arrested Abraham Lauhenapessy, who they claimed brought the boat used to smuggle the Sri Lankans to Australia in February, on Babu's orders.

When the boat was intercepted by the Australian Navy it provoked a diplomatic crisis over Canberra's attempts to return the Sr Lankans to their strife-torn homeland, via Indonesia. Following international criticism, the Federal Government decided to process the asylum seekers on Nauru.

Inspector-General Adiwinoto said Lauhenapessy had admitted to receiving $20,000 from Babu to buy the boat. He also helped hide other groups of Sri Lankans in and around Jakarta. The asylum seekers had paid between $15,000 and $20,000 each for the journey to Australia.

The arrests demonstrated that Indonesia had again become a transit point for people smugglers, Inspector-General Adiwinoto said.


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