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Noordin Mohammed Top

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Title: Noordin Mohammed Top  
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Noordin Mohammed Top

Noordin Mohammad Top
Born (1968-08-11)11 August 1968
Kluang, Johor, Malaysia
Died 17 September 2009(2009-09-17) (aged 41)
Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia
Occupation Financier, alleged trainer of the splinter group of Jemaah Islamiyah
Criminal penalty None
Criminal status Deceased as of Fall 2009

Noordin Mohammad Top (11 August 1968 – 17 September 2009), of Malaysian citizenship, was a Muslim extremist, also referred to as (Noordin) Din Moch Top, Muh Top, or Mat Top, and Indonesia's most wanted Islamist militant.[1][2] Born in Kluang, Johor, Malaysia, he is thought to have been a key bomb maker and/or financier for Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and to have left JI and set up a more violent splinter group Tanzim Qaedat al-Jihad.[3] Noordin was reported by the FBI to be "an explosives expert". The FBI also has reported him to be "an officer, recruiter, bombmaker, and trainer for the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) group."[4]

Noordin and Azahari Husin were thought to have masterminded the 2003 JW Marriott hotel bombing in Jakarta, the 2004 Australian embassy bombing in Jakarta, the 2005 Bali bombings and the 2009 JW Marriott - Ritz-Carlton bombings,[5] and Noordin may have assisted in the 2002 Bali Bombings.[6]

Noordin, nicknamed "Moneyman", was an indoctrinator who was specialized in recruiting militants into becoming suicide bombers and collecting funds for militant activities.[7]

Having long since been wanted by Malaysian and Indonesian authorities, in 2006, he also became listed on the FBI's third major "wanted" list, the FBI Seeking Information - War on Terrorism list.[8]

He was killed during a police raid in Solo, Central Java, on 17 September 2009 conducted by the Indonesian anti-terrorist team, Densus 88.[9]


It is thought that Noordin may have assisted in planning the 2002 Bali Bombings, in which 202 people were killed.[6]

On 5 August 2003, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside the lobby of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, killing 12 people and injuring 150. Jemaah Islamiyah was suspected of responsibility for the bombing.[10]

In July 2004, a car bomb was exploded outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, killing several people including the suicide bomber, and wounding over 140 others.[11] Jemaah Islamiyah with Azahari Husin, and Noordin M. Top were suspected of being behind the bombing.[12]

On 1 October 2005, bombs were detonated in Jimbaran and Kuta in Bali. The bombings killed 23 people, including three bombers trained by Noordin.[9][13]

In July 2009, two suicide bombers killed seven people at the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in Jakarta. Local anti-terrorism officials said that there were "strong indications" that Noordin Top was behind the attacks.[4]

Fugitive trail

On 21 July 2005, Irun Hidayat was convicted of being an accessory by providing a house to Azahari Husin and Noordin Top.

After the October 2005 attack, a Philippine security official said that for months intelligence officials in Southeast Asia had received information that the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group was orchestrating a major strike, possibly in the Philippines or Indonesia, but were unable to uncover the plot's details in time to prevent it.[14]

Mbai identified the chief suspect in the 2005 attack as Azahari Husin, who was thought to collaborate with the second suspect, Noordin, whose wife was sentenced to three years in prison for harbouring him.[15] Azahari Husin was later killed in a raid in November 2005.

On 24 February 2006, the FBI added Noordin among three names to the Seeking Information – War on Terrorism list.[16]

On 29 April 2006, he narrowly escaped capture after his safe-house was raided by heavily armed Indonesian police in Binangun, Central Java. In the altercation, Abdul Hadi and Jabir were killed.[17]

In June 2006, it was reported that Noordin was threatening more attacks in video tapes recovered by Indonesian authorities, and police believe that he may have formed his own organisation outside JI.[18]

On 8 August 2009, there were media reports that he had been killed during a shootout with police near Temanggung, a village in Central Java. Forensic testing conducted by Indonesian police, however, disproved this speculation. A body recovered from the ambush site was instead found to be Ibrohim, a key organiser of the 2009 Jakarta bombings.[19]


Indonesian National Police Chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri announced on 17 September 2009 that Noordin was killed in a police raid along with three other terrorists. Police hunting for suspects in bombings of July 2009 tracked the seven suspects to Solo in Central Java and besieged a village house on the outskirts overnight. The raid ended near daybreak when an explosion was detonated inside the home. Four suspected militants were killed and three were captured. The operation left behind a charred house with no roof and blown-out walls. The bodies were flown to Jakarta for autopsies.[20]

Among four bodies recovered after the raid a corpse was identified as Noordin's;[21] fingerprints taken from it matched those of Noordin that were obtained from Malaysia. A similarity was found in at least 14 minutiae points.[22] On 19 September 2009, Indonesian National Police spokesperson announced that a DNA test was also carried out and it was proved that the body is Noordin's.[23] According to a police intelligence officer, the renter of the house, "Susilo", Noordin's close associate Bagus Budi Pranoto, alias "Urwah", and Aryo Sudarso, alias Mistam Hisamuddin, were killed in the raid, along with Noordin.[24] Police were led to the house after arresting Indonesian militant Rohmat Puji Prabowo at a marketplace in Solo on 16 September.[25]

Sidney Jones, the Southeast Asia programme director of the International Crisis Group, commented that Noordin's death was "a huge blow for the extremist organizations in Indonesia and the region", because "there isn't another radical leader in Indonesia who has given that same message so consistently."[1]


During his exiles and escapes from police raids, Noordin married several women in Indonesia and produced several children from those marriages.

He married Munfiatun AKA Fitri on 7 July 2004. Fitri was sentenced to three years in prison for protecting him. He also married an unidentified woman in Rokan Hilir, Riau, during his exile after the first Bali Bombing. Around 2007, he also married Ariani Rahma during his exile in Cilacap. One other unidentified woman was also believed to be Noordin's wife during his time in police custody. These marriages were believed to be a part of his strategy to socialize with the local people in order to keep his identity secret. His first wife was an Indonesian-born Malaysian woman, who now lives in Johor, Malaysia, with their son.[26][27]


External links

  • BBC Profile: Noordin Mohamed Top
  • Rewards for Justice
  • FBI Most Wanted Terrorists currently listed web page

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