Islamic militant wanted for a string of attacks across Indonesia has
claimed to be leader of a previously unknown group, Indonesian
police have said.
Noordin Mohammad Top narrowly escaped a police
raid in November
Police said Noordin Mohammad Top described himself as head of
Tanzim Qaedat al-Jihad, covering Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the
Analysts say he could have split from the group he was previously
associated with, Jemaah Islamiah (JI).
JI has been blamed for the devastating Bali 2002 attacks, among
Tanzim Qaedat al-Jihad translates as Organisation for the Base of
It is not clear what the group stands for, although jihad in this
context means holy war, and the use of Qaedat suggests an
ideological connection with the militant group al-Qaeda.
Indonesian police chief Sutanto told reporters the information
came to light after police interviewed several suspects and
witnesses following the latest attack on Bali, last October.
"In his own account related to the Bali bombings on October 1,
2005, Noordin M Top said that he was the leader of the Tanzim Qaedat
al-Jihad for the Malay island group, which includes Malaysia,
Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines and parts of several other Asian
countries," Gen Sutanto said.
'Split with JI'
He gave no further details of the organisation.
Analysts have speculated that Malaysian national Noordin Mohammad
Top has drifted away from the main JI structure due to a
disagreement about attacks on "soft targets", which often kill
Noordin Mohammad Top narrowly escaped capture last November after
police raided a house he was staying in in East Java. His associate
Azahari Husin was killed in a separate raid on another house.
More than 200 people were killed in the 2002 attacks on Bali's
nightclubs, and 23 people, including three suicide bombers, were
killed in the latest Bali bombings in 2005.