07/30/2009, 00.00
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Terrorist Noordin Mohammed Top claims responsibility for hotel bombings in Jakarta

by Mathias Hariyadi
Police doubts the claim is true, but continues its investigations in all direction. It is now focusing on a woman thought to be the terrorist’s wife.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A message by Qoi'dah Indonesia was posted online claiming responsibility for the 17 July bombing at the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta. The group is led by Noordin Mohammed Top, a major terrorist wanted in Asia and a top operative of Jemaah Islamiah, an extremist Islamic network. But for police deputy spokesman Brigadier General Sulistyo Ishak the “message on the web might be a hoax”

The apparent authors of the attack that left nine people dead posted the message on Bushro. In it they say that they carried out their action in retaliation against the United States and to attack the players of the Manchester United football (soccer) team, because they are “Christian”.  In fact the English Premiere League team was scheduled to play in the Indonesian capital the following day, 18 July.

The fact that the claim was signed by Noordin Mohammed Top has renewed interest in the public for the Muslim terrorist.

Born in Malaysia, the Jemaah Islamiah leader is wanted for several attacks. He was last reported in East Java province.

Jakarta police had added his name on their list of top suspects right after the Jakarta attacks. Now that his name has surfaced again he has become a major topic of conversation.

A recent statement by General Bambang Hendarso Danuri has made matters more complex. The police chief said in fact that law enforcement is currently going after Ari Aryani, thought to be Noordin’s wife.

The woman was interrogated a few days ago about her husband, whom she said is called Abdul Halim, but who shows an uncanny resemblance with Noordin Mohammed Top, enough at least to make police suspicious.

Aryani told police she did not know whether her husband was the wanted terrorist; she also claimed that she did not where he came from or know his family.

The two were married in 2006 thanks to her father who had introduced her to her future husband. However, the groom was not present at his marriage ceremony.

Police also detained the woman’s father, Bahrudin Latif, for interrogation. Police sources said that at the moment of his arrest police agents found explosive material at his home.

Bahrudin and his daughter live in the Cilacap region, and area in central Java where another terrorist was arrested in mid-June, Sarifudin, thought to be Noordin’s right hand man.

Police now suspects that the authors of the two attacks against the Jakarta hotels are based in Cilacap.

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See also
Muslim leader detained in anti-Christian attack
Hunting for the heirs of Noordin Top, al-Qaeda’s top operative in South-East Asia
"Not repentant and never will,” say three Bali bombers whose execution is near
Alleged Singaporean terrorist arrested in Indonesia
Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist captured


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