Saturday, August 8, 2009


Noordin Mohammed Top, the man wanted in connection with the recent bombing of two luxury hotels in Jakarta, has been arrested, Al Jazeera has learnt.

Noordin, one of two people suspected of being involved in the blasts at the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in the Indonesian capital last month, was reportedly taken into custody on Friday.

Nine people were killed and more than 50 others injured in the blasts on July 17.

"Officially the police are still denying that they have captured Noordin Top in central Java, but a very reliable source on the ground have told us they captured a man very likely to be Noordin Top," Step Vaessen, Al Jazeera's correspondent, reported.

While Noordin has not been officially named as being behind the Jakarta bombings, officials and analysts have made clear he is the chief suspect.

Vaessen said: "It's still not confirmed that he was actually connected to the latest bombings at the Marriot and Ritz-Carlton Hotel but ... according to terror experts, there's only one man in Indonesia who's capable of doing it.

"They say his fingerprints are all over the attacks."

Local media in Indonesia repoted that police were involved in shooting with suspected figthers in Temanggung in Central Java.

Noordin was a key member of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), an al-Qaeda-linked group that wants to establish an Islamic state across Southeast Asia.

But his group broke away from JI after an alleged falling-out with the leadership over the targeting of civilians.

JI is blamed, among other attacks, for the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing that killed 202 people.

Noordin is thought to have been behind attacks on the Jakarta Marriott in 2003 and the Australian embassy in 2004, and also on a series of restaurants in Bali in 2005 in which more than 20 people were killed.

al jazeera

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