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 Dead Santoso follower a new recruit: Police

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BerichtOnderwerp: Dead Santoso follower a new recruit: Police   wo 20 jan 2016 - 3:33

The Jakarta Post,January 19 2016

A member of the Eastern Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) recently killed in a shootout in Poso, Central Sulawesi, was a new recruit and was not on a list of wanted terrorists.

“Yes, it’s possible that [he] recently joined Santoso [the leader of the MIT],” Central Sulawesi Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Hari Suprapto told reporters on Monday.

According to Hari, the police have not yet determined the identity of the man who was killed by a joint team comprising police and military officers in a gunfight in Taunca village, South Poso Pesesir district, on Friday.

He said the Police Disaster Victims Identification (DVI) team was still identifying the physical characteristics of the body. To date, the police have ascertained that the late terrorist was male, had brown skin, was 165 centimeters tall and was aged between 35 and 40 years of age. The body is presently being kept at the Bhayangkara Police Hospital in Palu.

“Until now, no families or relatives have visited the hospital to claim the body,” he added.

He said the police took a DNA sample of the body in an effort to clarify the identity of the MIT member.

Earlier, the police issued 24 names alongside photographs of MIT members on a most wanted list. Some of them have been killed, arrested and detained, while others remain at large.

Among the names of the MIT members was Maskoro, alias Daeng Koro, believed to be Santoso’s right-hand man before being killed last year.

During the gun battle at Taunca village, several MIT members managed to escape to the forested mountainous area behind the village.

Central Sulawesi Police Chief Brig. Gen. Idham Azis earlier said that three widows of alleged terrorists, killed during raids by security officers, had joined the Santoso group and were currently hiding in the Poso Pesisir forest.

The three women are known only as Umi Fadel, Umi Mujahid and Umi Delima,

Furthermore, it is not just local men and women who have joined the group. Foreigners have also reportedly joined the terrorist gang in Poso.

On Dec. 23 last year, the police arrested two men: Arif Hidyatullah, alias Abu Mushab, and a Chinese Uighur, identified only as Alli. The two men were arrested for allegedly planning attacks on Christmas and New Year’s festivities. It is thought by the police that both men may have links to the MIT.

The police earlier revealed that they had managed to neutralize 24 suspected terrorists, killing seven of and detaining 17 others, during the Camar Maleo operation, launched in January last year and ending in December. However, the operation, which deployed 1,700 police and military officers, failed to catch Santoso.

Because Santoso is still at large, the police have launched a new operation, code named Tinombala, deploying some 2,000 personnel from the police and military.

Santoso and his followers are believed to be in hiding in the forests around Napu, North Lore district, and Sausu, Parigi Moutong regency.

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