Bali bombing mastermind killed in police raid

Thursday, September 17, 2009

JAKARTA - Terrorist mastermind Noordin Mohammed Top was killed in a police raid on a militant hideout in Central Java on Thursday, Indonesian police have officially confirmed.

The 41-year-old Malaysian-born extremist was one of four militants killed in the raid near Solo, national police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri told reporters.

The terrorist, who was on the run for almost seven years, was identified using fingerprint analysis, Danuri said.

“He is Noordin M Top,” Danuri said, sparking a round of applause throughout the room.

Noordin led a hardline splinter group of terror organisation Jemaah Islamiah.

He was the suspected mastermind of July’s attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta that killed seven, including three Australians.

Authorities believe he also masterminded a 2003 attack on the Marriott, a 2004 attack on Australia’s embassy in Jakarta and the 2005 Bali bombings that killed four Australians.

It’s believed he also helped plan the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.Police came close to catching Noordin several times but he always managed to elude capture.

Noordin’s death will be a major setback for Islamic extremists throughout Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s office said it was aware of reports of Top’s death.

“We are awaiting official confirmation from the Indonesian government,” Fairfax News quoted a spokesman, as saying. (ANI)

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