Saturday, August 8, 2009

Noordin Mohammed Top Commits Suicide During Standoff

Via The Long War Journal -

Noordin Mohammed Top, Asia's most wanted terrorist, committed suicide after a 12-hour standoff with Indonesian police in a remote farm house in Central Java.

Police made visual confirmation of Top through cameras attached to remote control robots that were deployed into the house and watched as he fled into a bathroom and, surrounded by a woman and three children, blew himself up, Metro TV reported. The explosion occurred at 8 am Saturday local-time (9 pm EDT Friday) and was carried on live television.

Top was a senior leader in Jemaah Islamiyah and was originally from Malaysia. He was known as a top recruiter, strategist, and fundraiser, and was behind the most deadly terror attacks in Indonesia. He masterminded the October 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people and injured 209; the August 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta; the September 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta; and the October 2005 Bali bombings. He split from Jemaah Islamiyah in late 2005 after disagreement over the use of violence with other leaders and became the emir of Tandzim al-Qaedat Indonesia. While ties between Top's group and al Qaeda have not yet been confirmed, his group has run Web forums that have collaborated with Jihadi forums known to be associated with al Qaeda. One such forum released an Indonesian-language propaganda video with the well-known al-Ekhlaas Forum in early 2008.

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