National Police Captured The Alleged JI Military Leader Linked to Bali Bombings

Recent report from several media outlets identified the captured individual was associated with the terrorist group behind the 2002 Bali Bombings who took more than 200 lives.

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At a news conference in Jakarta, speaking to numerous media representatives, spokesperson of the National Police Ahmad Ramadhan said that Aris Sumarsono or which is widely known with his other name Zulkarnaen was apprehended by Indonesia’s counterterrorism force Special Detachment 88 (Densus 88) last week at his resident in East Lampung. He was observed showing no sign of resistance when being captured, added Ahmad. The alleged military leader of extremist militant group Jemaah Islamiyah was reported on the run since 2003, after another bombing attack occurred in Jakarta’s JW Marriot Hotel, which he was also presumably involved.

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The suspect is known for his notoriety, being on the list of US Department of State’s Diplomatic security Service program ‘Reward for Justice’ with the bounty amount of 5 million dollars. He is the only Indonesian to be on the list. Zulkarnaen who was originally a biologist has long been chased by security official due to his participation in making the bombs used to terrorize Bali as well as to incite violence at different regions, such as the religious conflicts in Sulawesi and Molucca Island between 1998 and 2002, where thousand of lives died.

According to, Zulkarnaen has been listed on an al-Qaeda sanction list by the U.N Security Council since 2005, due to his connection with the Afgan militias Taliban and international fugitive Osama bin Laden. A statement from UN Security Council indicated that Zulkarnaen was a mastermind in sabotaging and has been positioned in Southeast Asia while still maintaining his close communication with the headquarter of the alleged militant organisation.

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Other than the making of bombs, Zulkarnaen also believed to have trained around 300 Indonesian in Afgan territory for military training.

Jemaah Islamiyah is known as a militant extremist group operated in Southeast Asia, it was established to reinforce the Islamic state in the region. According to UN Press Release SC/7548, Jemaah Islamiyah was added to the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 as one of the terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda or Taliban in 2002, following the deadly terrorism attack of Bali bombing.

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Yasmin is a tourism and lifestyle reporter at She completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science with a major in International Relations from Istanbul Medeniyet University, Turkey. She is interested in domestic and international politics, as well as the study of diplomacy and development.