Noordin Mohammad Top

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Noordin Mohammad Top
Noordin Mohammad Top.png
Noordin's FBI Photo
Born(1968-08-11)11 August 1968
Died17 September 2009(2009-09-17) (aged 41)
OccupationFinancier, alleged trainer of the splinter group of Jemaah Islamiyah
Criminal statusDeceased (2009)
Criminal penaltyNone

Noordin Mohammad Top (11 August 1968 – 17 September 2009) was a Malaysian Muslim extremist, also referred to as

  • Noordin
  • Din Moch Top
  • Muh Top
  • Top M or
  • Mat Top

Until his death, he was Indonesia's most wanted Islamist militant.[1][2]

Born in Kluang, Johor, Malaysia, he is thought to have been a key bomb-maker and/or financier, for Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), and to have left it, setting up the more violent splinter group Tanzim Qaedat al-Jihad.[3] Noordin was reported by the FBI to be "an explosives expert", and "an officer, recruiter, bomb maker and trainer for the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) group."[4]

Once in Indonesia, he married using the assumed name Abdurrachman Aufi. His wife, Munfiatun, would be jailed in June 2005, for concealing information about his whereabouts.[5]

Noordin and Azahari Husin were thought to have masterminded the following bombings:

Noordin may also have assisted in the earlier (2002) Bali bombings[7] Noordin (allegedly nicknamed Money man) was an indoctrinator specialising in recruiting militants as suicide bombers, and in collecting funds for militant activities.[8] Long after first being declared as wanted by Malaysian and Indonesian authorities, he was added to the FBI's third major wanted list in 2006. FBI Seeking Information - War on Terrorism list.[9] He was killed during a police raid (by Indonesia's anti-terrorist team Densus 88) in Solo, Central Java, conducted on 17 September 2009 .[10]


On 5 August 2003 a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside the lobby of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, killing 12 people and injuring 150. Jemaah Islamiyah was suspected of responsibility for the bombing.[11]

In July 2004 a car bomb was exploded outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, killing several people including the suicide bomber and wounding over 140 others. Jemaah Islamiyah with Azahari Husin and Noordin M. Top were suspected of being behind the bombing.[12]

On 1 October 2005 bombs were detonated in Jimbaran and Kuta in Bali. The bombings killed 23 people, including three bombers trained by Noordin.[10][13]

In July 2009, two suicide bombers killed seven people at the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in Jakarta. Local anti-terrorism officials said that there were "strong indications" that Noordin Top was behind the attacks.[4]

Fugitive trail[edit]

On 21 July 2005, Irun Hidayat was convicted of being an accessory by providing a house to Azahari Husin and Noordin Top. Mbai identified the chief suspect in the 2005 attack as Azahari Husin, who was thought to collaborate with the second suspect Noordin, whose wife was sentenced to three years in prison for harbouring him.[14] Azahari Husin was later killed in a raid in November 2005. On 24 February 2006 the FBI added Noordin among three names to the Seeking Information – War on Terrorism list.[15]

On 29 April 2006 he narrowly escaped capture after his safe-house was raided by heavily armed Indonesian police in Binangun, Central Java. In the altercation, Abdul Hadi and Jabir were killed. In June 2006 it was reported that Noordin was threatening more attacks in video tapes recovered by Indonesian authorities and police believe that he may have formed his own organisation outside JI.[16]

On 8 August 2009 there were media reports that he had been killed during a shooting with police near Temanggung, a village in Central Java. Forensic testing conducted by Indonesian police however, disproved this speculation. A body recovered from the ambush site was instead found to be Ibrohim, a key organiser of the 2009 Jakarta bombings.[17]


Indonesian National Police Chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri announced on 17 September 2009 that Noordin was killed in a police raid along with three other terrorists. Police hunting for suspects in bombings of July 2009 tracked the seven suspects to Solo in Central Java and besieged a village house on the outskirts overnight. The raid ended near daybreak when an explosion was detonated inside the home. Four suspected militants were killed and three were captured. The operation left behind a charred house with no roof and blown-out walls. The bodies were flown to Jakarta for autopsies.[18]

Among the four bodies recovered after the raid a corpse was identified as Noordin's;[19] fingerprints taken from the Indonesian corpse matched samples obtained from Malaysia. A similarity was found in at least 14 minutiae points.[20] On 19 September 2009, Indonesian National Police spokesperson announced that a DNA test was also carried out and it was proved that the body was in fact that of Noordin.[21] According to a police intelligence officer, the renter of the house, "Susilo", Noordin's close associate Bagus Budi Pranoto, alias "Urwah" and Aryo Sudarso, alias Mistam Hisamuddin, were killed in the raid, along with Noordin.[22] Police were led to the house after arresting Indonesian militant Rohmat Puji Prabowo at a marketplace in Solo on 16 September.[23]

Sidney Jones, the South east Asia programme director of the International Crisis Group commented that Noordin's death was "a huge blow for the extremist organizations in Indonesia and the region", because "there isn't another radical leader in Indonesia who has given that same message so consistently."[1]


During his exiles and escapes from police raids, Noordin married several women in Indonesia and produced several children from those marriages.

He married Munfiatun AKA Fitri on 7 July 2004. Fitri was sentenced to three years in prison for protecting him. He also married an unidentified woman in Rokan Hilir, Riau, during his exile after the first Bali Bombing. Around 2007, he also married Ariani Rahma during his exile in Cilacap. One other unidentified woman was also believed to be Noordin's wife during his time in police custody. These marriages were believed to be a part of his strategy to socialise with the local people to keep his identity secret. His first wife was an Indonesian-born Malaysian woman, who now lives in Johor, Malaysia, with their son.[24][25]


  1. ^ a b "Q+A: Noordin Mohammad Top and Islamic militancy in Indonesia". Reuters. 17 September 2009.
  2. ^ "Indonesian police say militant Noordin Top is dead", The Washington Post, 17 September 2009.
  3. ^ "The Australian". Archived from the original on 19 October 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Fugitive linked to Jakarta blasts". BBC News. 18 July 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  5. ^ BBC Profile: Noordin Mohamed Top,; accessed 23 August 2015.
  6. ^ "FACTBOX: Five facts about Islamic militant Noordin Top". Reuters. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  7. ^ "Sydney Morning Herald". 18 September 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  8. ^ Bali bombings: 'Demolition Man,' 'Moneyman' key suspects, Rediff India Abroad, 3 October 2005.
  9. ^ "Seeking Information Alert for Top". 4 April 1979. Archived from the original on 9 July 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  10. ^ a b Sukarsono, Achmad; Kate, Daniel Ten (17 September 2009). "Noordin, Southeast Asian Terrorist Leader, Is Dead". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 17 September 2009.
  11. ^ Marriott blast suspects named,, 19 August 2003.
  12. ^ "Jakarta victims remember embassy blast". Melbourne: 9 September 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  13. ^ "CNA". Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  14. ^ Andrew Alderson, Colin Freeman and Nina Goswami. "Western tourists killed as terrorists return to bomb Indonesian holiday island again",, 2 October 2005.
  15. ^ FBI Updates Most Wanted Terrorists and Seeking Information – War on Terrorism Lists Archived 30 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine, FBI national Press Release, 24 February 2006.
  16. ^ Singapore PM sees terrorism threat in southeast Asia Archived 13 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Reuters India, 2 June 2006.
  17. ^ "Dipastikan Tewas di Temanggung, Rumah Ibrohim Mulai Ramai". detikNews. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  18. ^ "Noordin Top confirmed dead". 3 News. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  19. ^ "Tiga Keutamaan Akhir Ramadan Serta Foto Jenazah (Asy Syahid, inshaAllah) Noordin M Top CS". Muslim Daily. Archived from the original on 22 September 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  20. ^ Police confirm Noordin's death Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine,, 17 September 2009.
  21. ^ Police confirm corpse is Noordin,; accessed 23 August 2015.
  22. ^ "Terror mastermind Noordin Mohammed Top dead: Indonesia police". Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on 19 October 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2009.
  23. ^ Allard, Tom (15 September 2009). "Noordin Mohammed Top | Indonesian Terrorist Leader Dead: Police". Melbourne: Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  24. ^ "The Jakarta Post Article". The Jakarta Post Article. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  25. ^ "Indonesia Baru Article". Retrieved 19 September 2009.

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