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Bali bombing suspect extradited from Pakistan to Indonesia for 2002 attack
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) ' An Indonesian militant who allegedly made the explosives used in the 2002 Bali bombings returned to his homeland under tight security Thursday, more than six months after he was captured in northwest Pakistan, officials said.
Umar Patek had a $1 million bounty on his head when he was captured in the town of Abbottabad on Jan. 25, four months before Osama bin Laden was killed there in a U.S. commando attack.
Intelligence officials believe he possesses valuable intelligence on the current state of al-Qaida and its hardy affiliates in Southeast Asia and say he has already provided investigators with some information about other attacks.
Indonesia sent a plane to pick up the 41-year-old Patek from a Pakistani air force base just outside the capital, Islamabad, on Wednesday night, a Pakistani intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The plane touched down on the outskirts of Indonesia's capital early Thursday, said an Indonesian anti-terrorism official, who also asked that he not be named.
Patek will be held in a police detention house in the West Java town of Kelapa Dua, just south of Jakarta, pending trial. No date has yet been announced.
Indonesian officials say Patek has confessed to playing a key role in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists, including 88 Australians.
But they have nevertheless expressed concern over whether they will be able to lock him away for life.
One potential problem is that he may not be able to be tried under tough anti-terror laws passed after the Bali blasts because they cannot be applied retroactively.
Patek's arrest in Abbottabad has raised questions over whether he was in the town to meet bin Laden, something that would challenge theories that the al-Qaida chief was cut of from his followers. U.S officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the issue, have said that his arrest in Abbottabad was a coincidence.
Associated Press writers Munir Ahmed and Asif Shahzad contributed to this report from Islamabad.