Umar Patek, alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings has been sent back to Indonesia from Pakistan
Umar Patek was captured in Pakistan six months ago in Abbottabad, the same town where Osama bin Laden was killed. The key suspect in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people was Tuesday escorted under tight security to Indonesia where he will soon stand a trial.
Like scores of other top-ranked terrorists Umar Patek was nabbed by the Pakistani security forces and sent back
six months after he was captured. He is said to be an al-Qaeda-linked Indonesian and had a $1 million bounty on his head when he was caught on Jan 25.
The 41-year-old militant was quietly taken to the Pakistani air force base late Wednesday night, put on a waiting Indonesian plane and flown to the capital, Jakarta. He was rushed to a police detention center in the West Java town of Kelapa Dua immediately after touching down.
Ansyaad Mbai, Indonesia’s anti-terrorism chief, was reported to saying that it was no coincidence that the two men were in the same town. “It’s further evidence of the link between the Southeast Asian terror network and al-Qaeda,” he said, adding that Patek, well plugged into international terror networks during his 10 years on the run, had been hoping for a meeting.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, has been hit by a string of terrorist attacks blamed on the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah network since Sept 11, 2001, but the Bali bombing was by far the most deadly.