Umar Patek, mastermind of the Bali massacre and several church bombings, is extradited
by Mathias Hariyadi
Pakistan has handed over the Muslim extremist, author of the 2000 Christmas Eve bombings. His transfer has been expected for months. Now he is being held in the headquarters of Special Forces in Depok, West Java. He is cooperating, according to police, but the truthfulness of what he is saying must still be checked.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Pakistan extradited terrorist Umar Patek, who is now in the custody of a special police unit. Police sources confirmed the news, taking by surprise public opinion and media, which expected the handover to Indonesian authorities in the coming days. Patek was one of the masterminds behind the 2002 Bali attack and the author of a number of bombings against Christian churches. At present, he is being held at the headquarters of Special Forces in Depok, Bogor Regency (West Java Province)
“Yes, he [Patek] confirmed his involvement in a series of terror acts, including Bali bombing in 2002 and earlier in several churches’ bombing on Christmas Eve in 2000,” said Inspector General (ret.) Ansyaad Mbai, head of the National Anti-terror Agency (BNPT). “He is being cooperative with his interrogators,” Mbai explained, but the truthfulness of he is saying must still be determined.
The Indonesian terrorist arrived in Jakarta in the morning and was moved to the Depok headquarters under tight security.
Indonesian police Chief General Timur Pradopo confirmed that police would soon file charges against Patek so that he can stand trial.
Pakistani intelligence captured him, together with his wife, on 25 January in Abbottabad, the same town where US Special Forces carried out a raid in which Osama Bin Laden was killed. In July, Islamabad gave the green light for the extradition.
Umar Patek is a Javanese of Arab origin, originally from Pekalongan District in Central Java where he was born in 1970.
He is considered the mastermind behind the Bali bombings of 12 October 2002, when bombs exploded in two nightclubs killing 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, with the largest contingent from Australia. Hundreds more were wounded, some losing limbs.
Leader of the first Bali attack and of various attacks against churches, he is considered one of the leading figures in Jemaah Islamiyah and is thought to have established ties with Osama Bin Laden’s al Qaeda.
The Indonesian terrorist, who is a bomb and explosive expert, is believed to have trained two top Islamic terrorists from Malaysia, Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Moh Top. The latter was killed during a police raid in Indonesia.
Patek has used various aliases, including Umar Kecil, Pak Taek, Abu Syekh, and Zacky and is believed to have operated in southern Philippines for a long time, together with the fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Abu Sayyaf terrorists.