Regional dragnet for terrorist: 4-nation hunt for Noordin

Submitted by pekwan on Monday, July 20th, 2009
Bomb-maker may flee Indonesia to seek treatment for liver condition
Monday, July 20th, 2009 07:36:00

MALAYSIA is standing shoulder to shoulder with Indonesia in an intensified four-nation manhunt for Kluang-born terrorist Noordin Mat Top.

The Malaysian, Singaporean and Australian governments are assisting Indonesia to hunt master bomb-maker Noordin in connection with the deadly twin hotel bombings in Jakarta last Friday.

The 41-year-old extremist may soon run out of places to hide as he has a liver condition that needs regular

treatment, sources told Malay Mail.

In desperation, Noordin, might even flee Indonesia in disguise as his condition is believed to be deteriorating,  said a source.

This terrorist is the same sick man who is said to have masterminded the Jakarta hotel  bombings that killed nine people and wounded more than 50, mostly foreigners.

The trademark Noordin bombs were packed with nails, ball bearings, nuts and bolts to maximise carnage and appeared to be “identical” to ones used in past JI attacks, police said.

They were also the same as bombs found in a recent raid on an Islamic boarding school in central Java during the hunt for Noordin, leader of a Jemaah Islamiyah splinter group.

Police said they were also following leads in the Cilacap region of Central Java, where explosives were reportedly found buried in a garden last week at the house of Noordin’s father-in-law, who is also at large.

Security will be intensified along Malaysia’s borders to ensure the Jakarta bombers do not sneak in.

Sources said counter terrorism experts from here are among a crack team that left for Jakarta soon after the  bombings.

They will assist their Indonesian counterparts in deciphering the codes, as well as provide high-tech equipment to give greater clarity to CCTV footage that could help identify the killers.

The probe will focus on a laptop believed to have belonged to one of the bombers found in a room at the Ritz-Carlton.

Jakarta police said the laptop contained information and codes believed to have been used by the bombers.

Security videos captured the moment of the explosion in the Marriott.

The brief, grainy images show a man wearing a cap and pulling a bag on wheels walking across the lobby toward the restaurant, followed by a flash and smoke filling the air.

Investigators worked with medical teams on Saturday to reconstruct the remains of the culprits believed to have set off the explosions that tore through the restaurants of the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton at breakfast time the day before.

The “control centre” for the attacks – room 1808 in the Marriott – is another priority for investigators.

The attack occurred as the Marriott was hosting a regular meeting of top foreign executives of major companies in Indonesia organised by the consultancy firm CastleAsia, said the group, which is headed by an American.

The cooperation among Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia resulted in the arrest of Singaporean terrorist

Mas Selamat Kastari in May.

Mas Selamat, who escaped from a maximum security detention centre in the republic on Feb 27, 2008, was arrested in Johor with two others following intelligence sharing with the police forces of Indonesia and Singapore.

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