Indonesian police said today it could take two weeks to confirm the death of Asian militant mastermind Noordin Mohammed Top, reported killed in a dramatic standoff with police special forces. "The whole process of DNA testing will take two weeks. It's a standard procedure," national police spokesman Nanan Soekarna told AFP. "The test is being conducted at the Kramat Jati police hospital," he said, referring to a hospital in Jakarta where a body believed to be Noordin's was taken after the end of the 17-hour siege at a remote house in Central Java.
The stand-off ended on Saturday morning in a hail of gunfire and explosions - mostly from the US-trained counter-terrorism forces who had surrounded the suspected hideout and riddled it with bullets from a nearby hilltop. Noordin, 40, a Malaysian Islamist extremist, has been blamed for multiple terror attacks against "iconic" Western targets in Indonesia which have killed about 50 people and injured hundreds since 2003.
The latest are believed to have been the July 17 twin suicide bombings on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in the capital, which killed seven people including six foreigners, plus the two bombers. He was a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terror group responsible for the 2002 Bali attacks which killed more than 200 people, but split to form his own even more violent network to "defend Islam" from perceived injustice.
The self-proclaimed leader of "al Qa'eda in the Malay Archipelago" was one of Asia's most wanted men and had a $100,000 bounty on his head from the Indonesian government, who saw him as public enemy number one. The police raid on his suspected hideout in Beji village overshadowed other operations including the arrest of five of Noordin's alleged accomplices and the uncovering of a major bomb factory in Bekasi, outside Jakarta.