Last suspect in Bali bombing may be dead
Indonesian police said they may have killed Dulmatin, the last major suspect still at large from the Bali bombing. If true, it would be a major blow to terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah.
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The last at-large suspect in the Bali bombing – the 2002 car bombing at a Bali nightclub that killed 202 people – was reportedly killed during a police raid in Indonesia on Tuesday, though his identity has not been confirmed.
An Indonesian police source told The Times of London that authorities believe they have killed Dulmatin, an explosives expert suspected of helping to build and set off the Bali car bomb. Taught by bombmaker Dr. Azahari Husin and trained in Afghanistan, Dulmatin rose to become one of the leaders of the Al Qaeda-linked Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, as The Christian Science Monitor has reported.
The Times of London reports:
Indonesia's counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, has launched a series of raids across the archipelago following the discovery of a militant Islamic training camp in Aceh, on the island of Sumatra, last month. Police have detained 21 suspected members of the group in Aceh and Java, while two have been killed.
Tito Karnavian, the anti-terrorism police chief, confirmed that the man killed was linked to a militant group in Aceh.
"Yes, he is the culprit, the one that sent people to Aceh. He's a big name," Mr Karnavian told reporters.
Dulmatin was thought to still be in the Philippines, where he lived under the protection of militant group Abu Sayyaf, the Monitor reported just two months ago.
"His re-emergence in Indonesia, running a new terrorist cell, is a massive development in the country's fight against militants and terrorism," reports Australia's Herald Sun, continuing:
If indeed it is Dulmatin who has been killed, it is a significant coup for Indonesia's anti-terror police who have been hunting him for years. And it takes out of play one of the most dangerous terrorist masterminds still on the run and capable of planning massive attacks.
Officials are awaiting a DNA test to confirm the man's identity. As with many wanted terrorists, Dulmatin has been reported as killed before.
This is "the third time the wily escape artist has been reported dead, with the previous incident being in the southern Philippines when a body thought to be his was exhumed from a shallow grave and DNA tested in early 2008," reports The Australian newspaper.
The Jakarta Globe writes that the man was one of several suspects targeted in two police raids on Tuesday. Two more people were killed in the second raid and two others were arrested as Indonesian authorities cracked down on those with ties to an alleged terrorist camp recently discovered in the territory of Aceh.