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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 15:18 GMT
New JI leader 'has al-Qaeda link'
Police remove a body from house in Batu - 10/11/05
Indonesian police have captured - or killed - several JI leaders
A young Indonesian with close links to al-Qaeda is thought to be the new head of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) militant group, a senior policeman says.

Abu Dujana, who is about 34 years old, now leads the Islamic group blamed for hundreds of deaths in Bali and elsewhere, said Petrus Reinhard Golose.

Some 270 alleged JI members, including senior leaders, have been arrested since 2000, he added.

But Abu Dujana was a capable leader and the group was still a threat, he said.

Colonel Golose, a senior anti-terror commander, said arresting him was now a "priority".

He said Abu Dujana was fluent in Arabic - unlike many Indonesian militants - had weapons training in Afghanistan and met Osama bin Laden.

"He has good relations with al-Qaeda. [He is] trusted," he said.

Leaders arrested

He was in an al-Qaeda class with Hambali, a suspected senior JI figure allegedly linked to attacks across the region.

Hambali is now in US custody after his arrest in 2003.

Abu Bakar Ba'asyir
Ba'asyir is due for release this year

Other alleged JI leaders have also been detained.

Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, accused of being the spiritual leader of JI, is in jail in Indonesia, convicted of an "evil conspiracy" in relation to the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, which killed more than 200 people.

However, despite prosecutors claiming that Ba'asyir was fundamental to Bali and other attacks, he was acquitted on more serious charges. He is due to be released later this year.

Noordin Mohammad Top is thought to have split with JI and to have set up a new militant group.

Abu Rusdan was apparently leader of JI until he was arrested in 2003 and later jailed for his role in the Bali attacks.

Col Petrus said this was when Abu Dujana took over.


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