09/15/2016, 08.52
INDONESIA
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Poso, police capture country’s “second most wanted man”

by Mathias Hariyadi

Mohammad Basri Santoso led the terrorist group East Mujahidin Indonesia (MIT). He was taken in South Poso Pesisir area with his wife. Now he is in hospital for medical checks. MIT has direct ties to the Islamic State, but now has only 13 members.

 

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Indonesian police have captured Mohammad Basri, the second sought most dangerous man  in the country. A military raid led to the discovery of a terrorist hideout in South Poso Pesisir, in Sulawesi Tenggara province. In the manhunt that followed, Basri and his wife were captured, while his collaborator Andhika was killed in an escape attempt.

Basri is the leader of the terrorist group East Mujahidin Indonesia (MIT) since he took over from Santoso, who was killed last July by the police. The latter had woven direct contacts with the leaders of the Islamic State over the past two years and his name was associated with several bloody attacks in the country. Basri was able to escape the military, even if for a certain period of time he was believed dead.

In 2002, Basri became a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network in Southeast Asia linked to al-Qaeda. After his arrest, the man was taken away along with his wife to Bhayangkara Police Hospital in Palu (Central Sulawesi) for medical checks.

Since the beginning of 2016 Jakarta has launched a large scale military operation, called "Tinombala Ops", targeting active terrorist groups in the territory. Two elite army battalions, navy and air force are involved, in cooperation with the police. Tinombala is the name of the mountains of central Sulawesi.

Gen. Rudy Sufahriady, provincial police chief, said that Santoso’s terrorist group has lost many men: "Now there are only 13". It is believed that Kaliora Ali will take over the lead from Basri, still at large, but considered less dangerous by the police.

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