Trifecta: Al-Qaeda's al-Libi, Hizballah's Mugniyah, and Now JI's Dulmatin
As our good friend, the indispensable Andy Cochran, says at The Counterterrorism Blog, The Good Guys Hit the Trifecta - Another Important Terrorist Leader Killed.
First, we nailed Al Qaeda commander Abu al-Laith al-Liby (or al-Libi, depending on your dictionary). Then someone (the Israelis? the Syrians?) stuck Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, "the Bin Laden of the 80s," in his well-deserved coffin. Now comes word that the Filippino Army has probably found the remains of Dulmatin, a top Jemaah Islamiah member suspected of planning the 2002 Bali bombings which killed over 200, in a grave in the southernmost tip of the Philippines. Dulmatin was apparently killed in a battle there on January 31 between government troops and a group of Abu Sayyaf, the terrorists who gave him refuge after he fled Indonesia. The FBI is assisting in the DNA check, but the authorities are quite confident. The Manila Times article on his death provides other details on him:"Dulmatin carries the highest bounty of all fugitives known to be hiding in the Philippines, $10 million—dead or alive—offered by the US government.
Dulmatin—whose real name is Joko Pitono but was also known as Ammar Usman—is a Malaysian engineer from a wealthy family. He is the suspected mastermind of the bombings of a beach resort in Bali, Indonesia, on October 10, 2002, that killed 202 people, mostly Australian tourists.Together with fellow Jemaah Islamiah member, Umar Patek, an Indonesian bomb expert, Dulmatin had sought refuge with the Abu Sayyafs in Jolo, Sulu, also in Mindanao, before being sighted in Tawi-Tawi."
No better words to conclude than with Andy's own: "The Good Guys are on a hot streak." Got that right.
Hit Counterterrorism Blog for the rest of the links.