Indonesia: Police arrest two alleged Jemaah Islamiyah members

Jakarta/Surabaya, 15 April (AKI/Jakarta Post) - Two alleged members of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terrorist network have been arrested in Malaysia and handed over to Indonesian authorities for questioning.

Indonesia's national police's chief of detectives, Comr. Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri, told The Associated Press that Agus Idrus, alias Agus Purwantoro, and Abdurrahim, alias Abu Husna, were in police custody.

Agus is believed to be the leader of JI, which is reported to have links with al-Qaeda, in Poso, Central Sulawesi.

The two were handed over by Malaysian police over the weekend after their arrest in January.

Bambang said both men had been involved in religious violence in Poso between 2000 and 2001 that claimed more than 2,000 lives and displaced 100,000 others.

The two men are reportedly being held at the detention center of the police's elite Mobile Brigade in Kelapa Dua, Depok, about 25 kilometers south of Jakarta.

Agus graduated from Airlangga University's School of Medicine in Surabaya, East Java, in 1997.

He is reported to have served as a doctor for fugitive terrorist Noordin M. Top.

Noordin is one of the chief JI members in Central Java and is allegedly responsible for a string of bombings in the country. He has escaped arrest on several occasions.

Agus is also known to have been a student of the late terrorist Dr. Azahari, who was killed by the police's counter-terrorism unit during a raid in Malang, East Java, on 9 November 2005.

Malaysian authorities arrested Agus and Husna in January for forging the passport of an executive at an Indonesian tobacco company, Deddy Achmadi Machdan.

A home belonging to Agus' mother, Sukarti Thamrin, on Jl. Petemon in Surabaya was deserted Monday. A neighbour said Sukarti had not been seen since news first broke of her son's alleged ties to terrorism.

Another neighbour, Satuman, recalled that Agus was a quiet person who spent a lot of time in the mosque.

"He never caused trouble and was a devout Muslim, regularly praying at the mosque," Satuman said.

He said residents of the housing complex were more familiar with Agus' father, the late Muhammad Thamrin, and mother.

Satuman said Sukarti was actively involved in a local housewives group.

Agus married a woman from the neighbouring town of Mojokerto in 2000. The couple later left Surabaya for Kalimantan.


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