Dulmatin (pictured) has used a great many aliases, including Joko Pitono, which appears on a passport released by Indonesia authorities. He is also known as Amar Usmanan, Joko Pitoyo, Abdul Matin, Muktamar, Djoko, and Noval. Indonesian intelligence has nicknamed “The Genius”.
In 1990 and 1991, he trained in Afghanistan, and eventually became a protégé and one of the closest aides to Malaysian terrorist Azahari Husin.
Originally from Pemalang (central Java), the Indonesian terrorist is on the most wanted list of Indonesia and neighbouring countries. He is thought to be one of the masterminds behind the 2002 Bali bombing, which killed at least 202 people, especially foreign tourists crowding the island during the holiday season. Following the attack, Dulmatin fled to Mindanao, southern Philippines, where he joined the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)
Working undercover, he has provided logistical support to Jemaah Islamiyah in its terror campaign against the United States and the United Kingdom in South-East Asia. After escaping several attempts by the Filipino military to seize him, he joined Islamist fighters affiliated with Abu Sayyaf, also in southern Philippines.
He is believed to be among the terrorists killed in the raid carried out at 11.30 am (local time) by Indonesia’s elite Detachment 88 anti-terrorism unit, but confirmation will come only after DNA and fingerprints tests are performed.
The gun battle between security forces and terrorists broke out near the Multiplus Supermarket, in the Pamulang commercial area, some 25 kilometres south-west of Jakarta, and lasted about 15 minutes.
The operation that ended in the death of three extremists shows how seriously the Indonesian government is taking the fight against terror cells and Islamic extremism.
In the meantime, Indonesia is preparing, not without opposition, the visit of US President Barack Obama, scheduled to begin on 20 March.
Hard-line Muslim groups have in fact rallied against Obama’s visit, claiming that the US leader is not a true friend of Islam.