JAKARTA, March 31, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Terrorism defendant Abu Bakar Ba’asyir says he is not acquainted with Umar Patek, another terrorism suspect who was recently reported to have been arrested in Pakistan, The Jakarta Post reported on Thursday.
Ba’asyir said he had only heard the name in the media.
“His name is strange, too. Patek?” he said on Thursday before his trial hearing, which proceeded without him after he asked for permission to leave the court room.
Ba’asyir said that he doubted rumor about Patek, who allegedly spent several years with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the Philippines, before he was captured.
“How could he jump from one place to another, and he is even accused of being involved in the first Bali Bombing. And was the captured person really Umar Patek?” he said, as quoted by kompas.com.
Ba’asyir is currently being tried on a number of charges, including the funding and planning of a military-style terrorist training camp in Aceh and for his alleged involvement in a deadly bank robbery in Medan.
Umar Patek was reportedly captured early this year. However, the National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo and Politics, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto said they were yet to confirm the arrest. (*)