Indonesia arrests suspected leader of Al-Qaeda linked Jemaah Islamiyah hinh anh 1Indonesian counterterrorism police arrest Zulkarnaen (Photo: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA)
- Indonesian police have arrested a man believed to be the military leader of the Al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah network who has eluded capture since 2003.

Aris Sumarsono, known as Zulkarnaen, was arrested late on December 10 by counterterrorism police without resistance in a raid at a house in East Lampung district on Sumatra island, said National Police spokesperson Ahmad Ramadhan on December 12.

Zulkarnaen is suspected of being involved in the making of bombs used in a series of attacks, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, and a 2003 attack on the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, that killed 12, Ramadhan said.

He said Zulkarnaen, a biologist who was among the first Indonesian militants to go to Afghanistan for training, is also accused of harbouring Upik Lawanga, another bomb maker and a key Jemaah Islamiyah’ member. Lawanga was arrested by counterterrorism police in Lampung last week. He had eluded capture since 2005 after being named as a suspect in an attack that killed more than 20 people at a market in Poso, known as a hotbed of religious militancy on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island.

“He is in custody and being questioned by investigators,” Ramadhan, adding that police are still conducting an investigation at his house in Lampung.

Police said they were tipped off to Zulkarnaen's location in raids after interrogating several suspected militants arrested late last month./.