CNN BREAKING NEWS
Suspected Terror Leader Arrested in Indonesia
Aired December 4, 2002 - 06:22 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We have some breaking news to tell you about. This just crossed the wire. Apparently Indonesian police say they've arrested a man called Mukhlas. He is the alleged new operations chief of a Southeast Asian terror group, and, of course, that terror group is suspected of the bombing of that Bali nightclub in which a couple of hundred people were killed.
We want to go live to Indonesia right now to talk to Atika Schubert -- what can you tell us, Atika?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, Indonesia's chief of detectives has confirmed to reporters that a man named Ali Gufron, alias Mukhlas, was arrested last night in Central Java, along with several other suspects. Now, this could be a major breakthrough in Indonesia's war on terror because Mukhlas is believed to be the operations chief of a group known as the Jamia Islamia. Now, the Jamia Islamia is a militant Islamic group here that operates in the region with links to al Qaeda and has been put on a U.S. terror watch list.
Now, obviously police, by arresting the operations chief, are hoping not only to find out more about the terror network, but also possibly thwart any future attacks -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Do you know how they found him and how the arrest came to be?
SHUBERT: It's not clear exactly how they found him, although police did allude to the fact that the Bali investigations may have helped to pinpoint him. One of the interesting things is that Mukhlas is actually the older brother of one of the prime suspects that has actually admitted to carrying out the bombings. Now, police have not said whether or not Mukhlas has been arrested specifically in connection with the Bali attacks. But they do say they are currently looking into whether Mukhlas may have ordered the attacks as the operational chief of Jamia Islamia. They say they're hoping to find out more through interrogation -- Carol.
COSTELLO: OK, I'll let you go to talk to Indonesian police now.
Atika Shubert reporting live from Indonesia this morning.
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