Thu, 03 Apr 2003

Muslim hard-liner abducted, son says

JAKARTA: Abu Jihad alias Tengku Fauzi Hazdi Geudong, dubbed the Southeast Asian leader of the terrorist network al Qaeda, has been abducted, his son said on Tuesday.

"We have identified those who took my father away. We have early indications that some police personnel were involved (in the abduction)," Abu Jihad's son Tengku Lamkaruna Putra told reporters on Tuesday at National Police Headquarters.

Lamkaruna went to the National Police to report his father's disappearance and submit his findings regarding the alleged abduction for further police investigation. It was the second time Lamkaruna had reported the case to the police within a week.

International Crisis Group (ICG) director Sydney Jones has identified Jihad as the region's al-Qaeda leader. He went missing on Feb. 22 after a group of unidentified people took him away, along with two of his colleagues identified as Edi Putra and Ahmad Saridup, from the Hotel Nisma in the Maluku capital of Ambon.

Edi and Ahmad are reportedly activists of a group intending to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia (NII), while Abu Jihad is one of the founders of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

Despite his alleged activities, no charges have been laid against Jihad.

Accompanying Lamkaruna to National Police Headquarters were his mother Elvi Zakaria and lawyer Muhammad Ali. -- JP