A suspicious military leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Jema Islamiya network was arrested in Indonesia after avoiding capture for over 15 years.
According to police, Alice Smarsono, known as Zulkarnaen, raided a house on Sumatra and was arrested by anti-terrorism police late Thursday local time without resistance.
Zulkarnaen is suspected of being involved in the production of the bombs used in a series of attacks, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.
He was also associated with a 2003 attack on the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, killing 12 people, said state police spokesman Ahmad Ramadhan.
Biologist Zulkarnaen, one of the first Indonesian militants to go to Afghanistan for training, also houses another bomb maker, Upik Rawanga, a key member of Jema Islamiya. Has been accused.
Rawanga was arrested by anti-terrorism police in Lampung last week.
He has escaped capture since 2005 after being nominated as a suspect in an attack that killed more than 20 people in the market of Poso, known as a hotbed of Islamic extremists in Sulawesi, Indonesia.
“He has been detained and is being cross-examined by investigators,” Ramadan said of Zulkarnaen, adding that police are still investigating at his home in Lampung.
Police said they had been taken to Zulkarnen’s whereabouts in an assault after interrogating several militant suspects arrested at the end of last month.
Since May 2005, Zulkarnaen has been on the al-Qaeda sanctions list by the United Nations Security Council for being associated with Osama Bin Laden or the Taliban.
The Security Council said Zulkarnen was one of the representatives of al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia and one of the few Indonesian people who had direct contact with Bin Laden’s network.
Zulkarnaen said he led a squad of fighters known as Special Forces, or Laskar Khos, whose members were hired from about 300 Indonesians trained in Afghanistan and the Philippines.
After his predecessor, Ensep Nurjaman (also known as Hambari), was arrested in Thailand in 2003, he became responsible for the operations of Jema Islamiya.
In the next decade, Indonesian security forces, with the support of the United States and Australia, destroyed the network of Jema Islamiya, killed leaders and bomb makers, and arrested hundreds of militants.
However, new threats have emerged in the last few years from sympathizers of Islamic State groups, including Indonesians who have traveled to the Middle East to fight IS.