The officials did not say where or when Umar Patek, a deputy commander of al-Qaida’s Southeast Asian affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah, was detained. But the Philippine army, which has also been hunting him, said he was picked up in Pakistan Jan. 25 alongside a Pakistani associate assumed to have been harboring him.
The arrest of Patek, who has a $1 million American price tag on his head, ends a 10-year international manhunt and is a major achievement in the global fight against al-Qaida and its offshoots. If he cooperates, the 40-year-old militant could give valuable intelligence on the current state of the extremist organization and its hardy affiliates in Southeast Asia.
As I wrote some time ago, Umar Patek and Dulmatin were the main guys we were looking for during my time with the Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines (JSOTF-P). Looks like this is further confirmation of the marginalization of JI and their Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) allies in the Southern Philippines.
On Patek, see also:
For more on JSOTF-P, USA Today recently ran a nice piece on the mission there. I recommend watching the approximately 5-minute video you can find with the story for a good overview of what JSOTF-P is all about.
And finally, Small Wars Journal with a bunch of good linkage on JSOTF-P. (You can also find the video I mentioned above there.)
- Senior Jemaah Islamiyah leader thought to have been captured in Pakistan (longwarjournal.org)
- Umar Patek, Terror Suspect In Bali Bombings, Caught In Pakistan (huffingtonpost.com)
- Indonesia police work to confirm Bali bomb suspect arrest (cnn.com)
- Bali bombing mastermind finally captured (telegraph.co.uk)
- Officials: Indonesian suspect captured in Pakistan (sfgate.com)
- Suspect in 2002 Bali bombings captured in Pakistan (theglobeandmail.com)
- Pakistan: Bali bombing suspect to be returned (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Officials: Indonesian suspect captured in Pakistan (seattletimes.nwsource.com)