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Noordin Mohammad Top

Date of birth: August 11, 1968
Place of birth: Johor, Malaysia
Sex: Male
Nationality: Malaysian
Aliases: Noordin Muh Top, Noordin Mat Top, Noordin Din Moch Top

Noordin Mohammad Top is one of the most dangerous members of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) that is still at large. Noordin is believed to be the top recruiter and strategist and also an important fundraiser for JI.

Noordin has been one of the top targets of regional security forces, but he has repeatedly escaped their grasp. A Malaysian national, he along with his compatriot, the late Dr. Azahari bin Husin, were the masterminds behind many of the suicide attacks to hit Indonesia, including the Bali bombings in October of 2005 injuring several Americans. Some of the other attacks that he is suspected of having orchestrated are the October 12, 2002 attack in the resort town of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali which killed 202 people and injured a further 209, the 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing which occurred on August 5, 2003 in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta which took place on September 9, 2004 in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing several people and wounding over 140 others.

Noordin has been the leading proponent of targeting Western interests in Indonesia. In addition to the two Bali and two Jakarta attacks, Noordin has ordered his operatives to conduct reconnaissance on a large foreign-owned power plant southeast of Surabaya. In January 2006, he announced the formation of a new organization, Tanzim Qaedat al-Jihad, although it is still unclear whether this is a distinctly independent organization from JI.

Noordin has been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department and the UN Security Council as a terrorist financier. He remains one of the most important JI figures at large. He is a charismatic leader and a recruiter, who has proven to be innovative and single-minded in his desire to implement the al-Qa’ida line and target Western interests.