Jakarta. A joint military and police team participating in Operation Tinombala arrested Basri — the alleged successor of Santoso, the infamous former head of the extremist group East Indonesia Mujahidin who was shot dead in July — and killed another terror fugitive during a raid in Poso Pesisir, Central Sulawesi, on Wednesday morning (14/09).
"At around 10 a.m. local time, terror suspect Andika Eka Putra from Bima [West Nusa Tenggara] was killed and Basri was arrested. Basri was being prepared to replace Santoso," Central Sulawesi Police chief Brig. Gen. Rudy Sufahriadi told reporters in Jakarta.
Basri was believed to be Santoso's de facto successor after his death in July. Another militant who the authorities thought might take over from Santoso, Ali Kalora, remains at large.
Rudy said at least 13 terror fugitives are still to be captured in the mountainous jungle around Poso.
The death of Santoso, who allegedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, led to the surrender of followers Salman, alias Opik, and Jumri, alias Tamar, in August.
The government has been taking on a softer approach in pursuing the Poso militants since Santoso's death, urging his remaining followers still on the run to surrender.
However, security forces are now anticipating a possible counterattack from these remaining militants, which police have said are believed to be regrouping under a new leader.