Update from Tim Blair
Wednesday, August 12, 09
Samples from the fellow’s few unperforated areas prove him to be other thanÂ Indonesia’s most wanted:
Rather than Top, Indonesia’s Densus 88 took down a unique local phenomenon â€“ aÂ terrorist florist. Top will be stopped another day. But from where do Top and his junior Topettes (such as 18-year-old mass murdererÂ Dani Dwi Permana) emerge in the first place? TheÂ Jakarta Post asks some experts:
Terrorism’s roots, they say, lie within the country’s Islamic boarding schools.
And how many of these terror-breeding fundo-pods might there be?
Indonesia has as many asÂ 45,000 Islamic boarding schools …
The scale of the problem becomes clear. It’s broad-based rather than Top-down, you could say.
Reports of Jemaah Islamiah leader Noordin Muhammed Top have been in error as fingerprint and facial reconstruction efforts fail to verify his death.
Fingerprint analysis has confirmed that a man killed by Indonesian police at the weekend was not fugitive terror suspect Noordin Mohammed Top, a counter-terror police officer said.
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Officials were publicly sticking to their line that only DNA tests would confirm the identity of the body but a source involved in the investigation said Noordin remained at large.
“It’s not him. We know from his facial structure as well as his fingerprints,” the police source said, requesting anonymity.
Noordin was reported by the local media to have been shot dead by police at the end of a 17-hour siege of a remote farmhouse in Central Java on Saturday.
Senior counter-terrorism official Ansyad Mbai refused to comment on the identity of the body retrieved from the farmhouse, saying DNA tests would confirm whether it was Noordin or not.
“It’s better that we wait for the forensic identification,” he said.
Noordin, 40, is a Malaysian Islamist who is wanted for multiple suicide bombings against Western targets in Indonesia since 2003 which have killed around 50 people and injured hundreds.
He is one of the most wanted alleged terror masterminds in Asia, and has a $119,960 bounty on his head from the Indonesian government.
The police source indicated that Noordin may have escaped from the farmhouse before police laid siege to it around 4pm on Friday.
“We were not as quick as him,” he said.
Police have come close to arresting the Malaysian, who leads a breakaway faction of the Jemaah Islamiah regional terror network, several times and have captured or killed some of his closest associates.
They have intensified the hunt since the July 17 twin suicide bombings on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in the capital, which killed seven people including six foreigners plus the two bombers.