five Ws

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 October, 2009, 12:00am


Noordin Mohamed Top was buried in his boyhood village in Malaysia last Friday. Indonesian police killed him last month, ending a manhunt that lasted for years.

Top is said to have been the head of terrorist group al-Qaeda's operations in Southeast Asia. Al-Qaeda are thought to be behind terrorist attacks in Indonesia that have killed around 250 people. Most of them were killed in a bombing in Bali in 2002.


Top was killed in a police raid in central Java on September 17. Police had been hunting him ever since the Bali bombing. They thought they had killed him in a similar raid in August, but he escaped. The hunt intensified after some five-star hotels in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, were bombed.

Police said fingerprints proved the man they had killed was Top. DNA tests later proved they were right.


Top was killed on the outskirts of the central Javanese city of Solo. He had been overseeing terrorist networks in Indonesia for years. But Top was actually Malaysian. His body was sent back to Malaysia last week and delivered to his hometown. Top's hometown is in the Pontian district in southern Malaysia.


Top's role as a leading terrorist suspect began in 2002, with the bombing of a nightclub on Kuta Beach in Bali. The blast killed 202 people, most of them tourists.

Police had gained information after capturing two of Top's accomplices. Police were initially driven back by gunfire. Eventually they killed Top and three of his agents.


Top's skill at organising a secret terrorist network made him a wanted man. The bombings in Jakarta in July this year made it look like the government did not have control, even in its own capital.

The fact that Top was not Indonesian but Malaysian was also affecting relations between the two countries. Many Indonesians felt that Malaysia was exporting terrorists to their country.