07/20/2016, 09.43
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Indonesia’s most wanted man, terrorist Santoso, killed in Central Sulawesi

by Mathias Hariyadi

The Islamic leader killed in shootout with police. Known by the nom de guerre of Abu Wardah, he was the leader of East Indonesian Mujahidin (MIT). He was the first Indonesian Mujahideen to swear allegiance to the Islamic State. Satisfaction among police, soldiers and press for success.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The terrorist Santoso, better known as Abu Wardah, has been killed in a shootout with security forces in the Indonesian jungle of Central Sulawesi.  He was the leader of East Indonesian Mujahidin (MIT), an extremist cell affiliated to the Islamic State ( IS). senior minister for political, legal and security affairs Gen. (ret.) Luhut B. Panjaitan after a hectic day of rumors about his death. "Yes, it's Santoso" said the minister yesterday during a press conference in Jakarta.

The Islamic extremist leader was killed in the operation Tinombala, according to police sources, which will continue until "every seed of extremism is eradicated " in Poso. Currently there are still 19 men and women at large. "Now - said the Minister Panjaitan – operations will focus on the capture of Basri and his gang."

DNA forensic tests have yet to be carried out for the identification of Indonesia’s most wanted man.

For the Indonesian security forces it is one of the biggest successes in the context of the anti-terrorism fight. During the press conference breaking the news policemen, soldiers and journalists have repeatedly greeted the death of the extremist,  shouting "Praise be to God".

Santoso or known by his nom de guerre Abu Wardah was the chief of East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) and claimed to have direct contact with IS leaders. His name is related with series of bloodshed and violence that has claimed the lives of civilians, police officers and other public facilities.

His terror attacks frequently struck Poso following a peace agreement signed in 2002 to end a violent conflict between radical Muslims and radical Christians that left thousands of lives from both sides. He also struck in Solo (Central Java), Bogor and Depok (West Java) and Tambora in West Jakarta.

His name emerged for the first time in May 2011, as part of an assault on a bank in Palu, capital of Central Sulawesi, which killed several police officers. The following year the Islamic religious leader Yasin appointed him head of the local branch of Jamaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), the Islamic extremist movement founded by Abu Bakar Baasyir. In 2014, he was the first of the Indonesian Mujahideen to swear allegiance to Daesh [Arabic acronym for the IS].

Now public attention has focused on the consequences of the military operation and if they are really effective in the fight against the spread of Islamic extremism in Indonesia. Rudy Sufahriad, head of the Central Sulawesi police, "the terrorist groups will continue their operations and spread their radical ideology." In this context, he adds, the campaign against Islamic fundamentalism must continue.

Doubts remain over the death of Basri, number two at MIT. If his death is confirmed, says the police officer, the leadership of the radical movement - which counts among its members also Chinese of Uyghur ethnicity - will go to Ali Kaliora, another leading member of radicalism in Indonesia.

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