Languages
Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 13:16 UK

Obituary: Noordin Mohamed Top

Indonesia's most-wanted militant Noordin Mohamed Top, who was linked by investigators to the 2005 Bali bombings, has been killed, say police.

Noordin Top (archive image)
Noordin narrowly escaped capture several times

Officials believe the Malaysian-born former accountant orchestrated a series of attacks across Indonesia.

Noordin was thought to be a key recruiter and financier for the regional Islamist militant group, Jemaah Islamiah, but analysts say he formed his own more hard-line splinter group.

The Indonesian government has managed to stifle militant strikes since September 2005 - the second major attack on Bali, which left 23 dead.

Noordin is not thought to have been involved in the Bali bombings of 2002, according to analysts.

The man thought to have been Noordin's closest ally, Malaysian bomb-maker Azahari Husin, was killed in 2005.

Two self-proclaimed JI leaders were then jailed in April 2008 and three Bali bombers were executed in November that year.

However, the suicide attacks on two hotels in Jakarta in July 2009, which killed nine people including two suspected bombers, raised concerns that Noordin's militant activities had resumed.

The country's anti-terror chief said there were "strong indications" Noordin's group was to blame.

Assumed name

Noordin had fled to Indonesia with Azahari Husin after the Malaysian government cracked down on Islamists following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.

Azahari Husin - archive picture
Former academic Azahari was an expert bomb-maker

Once in Indonesia, he married using an assumed name, Abdurrachman Aufi.

His wife, Munfiatun, was jailed in June 2005 for concealing information about his whereabouts.

The two men are thought to have acted together to plan attacks, with Noordin as the financier and Azahari as the bomb-maker. Newspapers dubbed them the "Money Man" and the "Demolition Man".

In addition to the two Bali bombings, both men were named as suspects in two other major attacks - one in 2003 on Jakarta's JW Marriott hotel which killed 12 people, and one on the Australian embassy in 2004 which killed 11 people.

Indonesian troops finally cornered Azahari, a trained engineer and former university lecturer who in 1990 gained a doctorate from the UK's University of Reading, at a house in East Java in November 2005.

The father of two was killed, either by a police bullet or by a bomb triggered by an accomplice.

But Noordin continued to evade capture.

In January 2006, police said he was claiming to lead a previously unknown group called Tanzim Qaedat al-Jihad, which translates as Organisation for the Base of Jihad.

Analysts speculated that he had drifted away from the main Jemaah Islamiah structure due to a disagreement about attacks on "soft targets", which often kill civilians.

In April 2006 police raided a house in the village of Binangun in central Java after reports that he had been staying there.

Two alleged Jemaah Islamiah militants were killed and another two arrested in an early-morning gun fight. Explosives were later found near the site. But Noordin was not.

In August 2009, security forces thought they had killed Noordin in a raid at a remote farmhouse in central Java, but DNA tests later confirmed it was not him.

The security forces say they finally got their man a month later during a raid at a house on the outskirts of Solo city in central Java. Noordin was identified from fingerprints, said police.

Three suspected militants were also killed during the siege at the rented property, where explosives and grenades were found.



Print Sponsor


RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific