The Malaysian-born Noordin Mohamed Top was a key figure behind the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings in Indonesia and remains one of Asia's most wanted fugitives.

Noordin Top (archive image)
Noordin has narrowly escaped capture several times

Officials believe the former accountant has orchestrated a series of attacks across Indonesia.

Noordin was thought to be a key recruiter and financier for regional Islamist militant group, Jemaah Islamiah, but analysts say he has now formed his own militant group.

The Indonesian government has managed to stifle militant strikes since September 2005 - the second major attack on Bali, which left 23 dead.

The man thought to have been Noordin's closest ally, Malaysian bomb-maker Azahari Husin, was killed in 2005.

Two self-proclaimed JI leaders were then jailed in April 2008 and three Bali bombers were executed in November that year.

However, the suicide attacks on two hotels in Jakarta in July 2009, which killed nine people including two suspected bombers, raised concerns that Noordin's militant activities had resumed.

The country's anti-terror chief said there were "strong indications" Noordin's group was to blame.

Assumed name

Noordin had fled to Indonesia with Azahari Husin after the Malaysian government cracked down on Islamists following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.

Azahari Husin - archive picture
Former academic Azahari was an expert bomb-maker

Once in Indonesia, he got married using an assumed name, Abdurrachman Aufi.

His wife, Munfiatun, was jailed in June 2005 for concealing information about his whereabouts.

The two men are thought to have acted together to plan attacks, with Noordin as the financier and Azahari as the bomb-maker. Newspapers dubbed them the "Money Man" and the "Demolition Man".

In addition to the two Bali bombings, both men were named as suspects in two other major attacks - one in 2003 on Jakarta's JW Marriott hotel which killed 12 people, and one on the Australian embassy in 2004 which killed 11 people.

Indonesian troops finally cornered Azahari, a trained engineer and former university lecturer who in 1990 gained a doctorate from the UK's University of Reading, at a house in East Java in November 2005.

The father of two was killed, either by a police bullet or by a bomb triggered by an accomplice.

But Noordin has continued to evade capture.

In January 2006, police said he was claiming to lead a previously unknown group called Tanzim Qaedat al-Jihad, which translates as Organisation for the Base of Jihad.

Analysts speculated that he had drifted away from the main Jemaah Islamiah structure due to a disagreement about attacks on "soft targets", which often kill civilians.

In April 2006 police raided a house in the village of Binangun in Central Java after reports that he had been staying there.

Two alleged Jemaah Islamiah militants were killed and another two arrested in an early-morning gun fight. Explosives were later found near the site.

But Noordin was not there when the raid happened, police said. He remains the Indonesian police's primary target.

Noordin M Top Dikabarkan Tewas Tertembak

Jakarta - Berita seputar penggerebekan teroris di Temanggung, Jawa Tengah, masih simpang siur. Merebak kabar, Noordin M Top tewas tertembak dalam penggerebekan tersebut. "Sudah tertembak. Namun karena wajahnya sering berganti rupa, perlu dipastikan melalui tes DNA," kata seorang sumber intelijen kepada detikcom, Jumat (7/8/2009). Penggerebekan tersebut dilakukan terhadap rumah milik Mohzari (70) di Desa Beji, RT 01/07, Kelurahan Kedu, Kecamatan Kedu, Temanggung. Densus 88 Mabes Polri sebelumnya telah menangkap dua pria bernama Indra (35) dan Aris (38) di Pasar Parakan Temanggung. Kedua laki-laki itu merupakan keponakan Mohzari.

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