Bali bombings terror suspect arrested

 

One of Indonesia's most wanted terrorists, believed to be behind the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 88 Australians, has been arrested on Sumatra.

Zulkarnaen, whose real name is Aris Sumarsono, is the 57-year-old leader of the terror group Jemaah Islamiah.

Police claim he was also involved in the 2003 suicide bombing attack on the JW Marriot Hotel in Jakarta, which killed 12 people.

According to Indonesian police, the fugitive - who has been on the run for 17 years - was arrested late last week during a raid on his house in Sumatra's East Lampung regency.

 

Terror mastermind Zulkarnaen, whose real name is Aris Sumarsono, has been arrested.
Terror mastermind Zulkarnaen, whose real name is Aris Sumarsono, has been arrested.

 

The Afghan-trained militant is believed to have commanded Jemaah Islamiah's powerful military intelligence operations, and organised the cells of fighters known as Laskar Khos who were responsible for the Kuta bombings.

National police spokesperson Inspector General Argo Yuwono said Zulkarnaen was arrested just days after Indonesia's elite anti-terror squad Densus 88 nabbed the bomb maker Upik Lawangan.

 

The deadly 2002 Bali bombings killed 88 Australians.
The deadly 2002 Bali bombings killed 88 Australians.

 

The ruins of the Sari Club nightclub in Kuta.
The ruins of the Sari Club nightclub in Kuta.

 

"The special detachment counter-terrorism Densus 88 has arrested a suspected terrorist and criminal named Zulkarnaen and also know as Aris Sumarsono, Daud, Zaena Arifin and Abdulrahman," the Inspector General said.

"He is a fugitive of the 2002 Bali bombing case and was in hiding with the terrorist suspect Upik Lawangan - aka Taufik Bulaga. Zulkarnaen was the commander of the Jemaah Islamiah army when the first Bali bombing attack took place in 2002. He created a special task force for the Bali bombing," General Yuwono said.

Both men are prized assets of Jemaah Islamiah.

 

The devastating scene in Bali following the 2002 terror attack.
The devastating scene in Bali following the 2002 terror attack.

 

Lawangan had been wanted in Indonesia since 2006 for terrorism charges relating to three other bombings and murders in Sulawesi in 2004, a further three attacks 2005, plus two additional bombings in 2006.

It is claimed he was apprenticed to genius Jemaah Islamiah bomb maker Dr Azahari bin Husin - who was known as the Demolition Man - when he allegedly created the Marriott and St Regis explosives.

Azahari was shot by police in 2005 during a shootout at his house where the terrorist hurled grenades at police.

Jemaah Islamiah has strong links with both al-Qaida and the Islamic State and aims to unite Indonesia, Malaysia and the southern Philippines as a combined sovereign Islamic state.

Both men face the death penalty if found guilty of a litany of terrorism charges.

'STILL VERY RAW'

John Croxford, whose wife Donna was killed in the 2002 bombings, said there was a small sense of relief at the news of Zulkarnen's arrest, but nothing could change what he and other families had suffered through for the past 18 years.

"It's still very raw," Mr Croxford told the Herald Sun on Sunday.

"I'm just glad that it's coming to some sort of a head, but it will not take away the fact that we lost our loved ones," he said.

"It will never change that, but we have to learn to move on and live with that."

Donna was among 88 Australians killed in the terrorist bombing, leaving Mr Croxford as the sole carer of their daughter, Breanna, who has a developmental disorder.

Breanna was just four years old when her mother was killed.

Mr Croxford said he planned to return to Bali for the 20 year anniversary in two years time.

"The Balinese are beautiful people,"

"(The arrest) means hopefully these people, who caused such devastation, won't be able to commit further crimes," Mr Croxford said.

 

Originally published as Bali bombings terror suspect arrested


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