Dulmatin’s take out – related to Obama’s visit?
While taking a rather long nap today it seems I missed some important news. The Indonesian President confirmed Dulmatin was killed on Tuesday in Indonesia.
These are my first pre-caffeine thoughts on the news and I’ll try to post something more considered when I am awake and have read some more.
But first, let me offer a huge congratulations to the INP for some stellar work. Though I feel for them over the next few weeks since Umar Patek is reportedly still on the loose and I’d wage a fairly good bet is also in or around the area–if reports he too relocated from the Philippines are true.
That Dulmatin was operating in the broader environs of Jakarta, is significant, particularly with Obama’s visit later this month. For those who are not aware of his background, there was a USD 10 million dollar bounty on his head. Dulmatin was an explosives expert who was involved in the 2002 Bali bombings. He was operating in the Philippines for years.
This is speculation on my part, but from what is in the media it seems Dulmatin arrived back in Indonesia after Noordin Top was killed and was busy building up a capacity in the country again. It seems Umar Patek, who was in the Philippines with Dulmatin also traveled over. Together they are as potent a mix as Azahari and Noordin Top were. In fact, given their experience in the Philippines, probably more so. Their arrival may not be related to Top being taken out, but from I’ve read the timing is somewhat suspect.
Patek has not been taken out yet, so I presume there will be a flurry of activity going on to ensure that whatever remains of cells can be neutralised. Patek was a field commander for the Bali bombings too, so if he is in-country and particularly still floating around the capital, any cells Dulmatin had established will have a regenerative capacity and can still be operationalised. Patek is also an IED expert as well as being very adept at recruitment. So this will be the main concern over the next little while.
I’m imagining attention will be now focused on whether Dulmatin and co. were trying to target Obama or launch a campaign to coincide with his visit. In terms of whether or not they were operationalising to target Obama, I’d guess they were, but I’d also suspect that they were planning for a campaign in Jakarta before this news of a visit came to light, and so probably just changed their plans.
They may have even concluded it was too difficult to target Obama and just readied devices to deploy while he is in the country, which would also have a significant impact. Given Dulmatin’s pedigree and the fact he had apparently been based near the capital for some time, it’s a fairly safe bet to say he wasn’t planning a shopping visit. He was there for operational activity of the type that goes boom. There are some reports that at least three detonators were found in the raids.
Here my thoughts turn to what the INP will probably be doing now – which is trying to determine whether a VBIED(s) or other devices had already been made and are still out there in a bomb making safehouse and then locate them asap.
The modus operandi of these guys is such that these devices do get made relatively early on in the process — if they feel they have adequate safety and resources.
If you recall when Noordin was taken out there was a VBIED ready which was to be targeted at the Indonesian President’s motorcade. I’m not sure if a date had even been set for that attack, but the device was set to go (or pretty close to it, if memory serves).
In other words VBIED’s or other devices may have already been made. Dulmatin got taken out at an internet cafe, which tends to suggest he was well established, which also gels with reports that he had been operating in and around the environs of Jakarta for some time.
This means there will be more than one safe house to locate and presumably more than one cell to uncover. With Patek reportedly still floating around, this is troubling. I’m curious to read reports that Dulmatin got taken out at point blank range, rather than taken in. More on that later… I need coffee badly.