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Indonesian Police Arrest Militant Leader Associated with al-Qaida


FILE - People pray during a minute of silence as part of a commemoration service for the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombing, Jimbaran, Bali, Oct. 12, 2012.

Authorities in Indonesia announced on Saturday the arrest of a top leader of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah, an extremist group that has carried out deadly attacks in pursuit of an Islamic caliphate in Southeast Asia.

A National Police spokesperson, Ahmad Ramadhan, said in a statement that counterterrorism police arrested Aris Sumarsono, also known as Zulkarnaen, late Thursday during a raid at a house in East Lampung district on Sumatra island.

Ramadhan said the police officers met no resistance from Zulkarnaen, who is suspected of being behind the 2002 bombing attack on the resort island of Bali that left more than 200 people dead, and an attack in 2003 on Marriott Hotel in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, that killed 12 people.

Police said they received a tip about Zulkarnaen's location as they were interrogating several suspected militants arrested last month.

The United Nations Security Council had included Zulkarnaen on an al-Qaida sanctions list since May 2005 as the network’s representative in Southeast Asia, and directly associated with former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan’s Taliban.

A biologist by background, Zulkarnaen was among the first Indonesian militants to go to Afghanistan for military training.

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