Terrorism ala Malaysian born

By Hakim Joe

Friday morning. July 17th. 7.47am. JW Marriott Hotel in the Kuningan district of Jakarta. What was touted as one of the “safest” hotels in Indonesia became the latest victim of international terrorism. Just beside JW Marriott some 50 meters away, the Ritz Carlton suffered a similar fate about 5 minutes later. An undetonated third time bomb (set to detonate at 7.43am) was later discovered in Room 1808 at the JW Marriott. Final score? Nine dead and 53 injured. Welcome to Indonesia where young suicide bombers in business suits habitually make martyrs out of themselves. 

Back in 2005 about a month after the second Bali bombing, the Indonesian police (Detachment 88) caught up with one Azahari bin Husin (after a tip off) who was shot and killed during the ensuing shootout. Inside his laptop was the complete planning and blueprints for the Bali bombing. Another name stood out from documents extracted from his hard disk. Noordin Mohammad Top. What have these two terrorists have in common? They are both Malaysians and were actively involved in the 2003 car-bombing of the Marriott Hotel, the 2004 Australian embassy bombing and the 2005 Bali bombing. 

Who is Azahari Husin? Nicknamed “Demolition Man”, Azahari was a prominent member of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and the author of the JI Bomb Manual. Educated as an engineer, Azahari had a doctorate degree in property valuation, was also a lecturer at the University of Technology in Johor and received intensive “hands-on” bomb making training in Afghanistan from Al-Qaeda operatives. Azahari was believed to have been recruited by Noordin during his lecturer days in Johor. 

Noordin Mohammad Top was born in Kluang, Johor and nicknamed the “Moneyman”. In addition to being the principal JI recruiter, indoctrinator, trainer and funds manager, Noordin is also a top JI officer and an explosive expert, probably obtained his bomb making training from Al-Qaeda as well. 

So, what has Noordin got to do with the recent Jakarta bombing? Well, bomb making is an art by itself whereby each bomber has its own personal signature. Azahari favors four switches (triggers) on the explosive device to prevent accidental setting off of the device during transition phases. Noordin favors two – one main trigger wired directly to the detonator to explode the bomb immediately (once the main system activates) and the other wired to an electronic 30-second backup delay trigger (if the main system fails to activate immediately) which sends an electronic pulse to a different detonator. Both bombs at the Marriott and the Ritz Carlton had two triggers only whereas all the Indonesian bombings prior to Azahari’s death had four triggers. 

Detailed installation and triggering instructions recovered in Room 1808 at the Marriott also confirmed that the explosive device utilizes only two triggers – a Noordin signature. Installation of the bomb was identical to the JI Bomb Manual – an Azahari authored book. Taken into consideration all the evidence, it is believed that Noordin Mohammad Top is the actual bomb maker, and has taken over the responsibilities of Azahari Husin. 

It was also fortunate that the time-activated bomb in Room 1808 malfunctioned as it would have meant that most of the hotel’s guests would have rushed down to the hotel lobby where the Marriott Hotel suicide bomber was waiting. This sinister plot is not what Azahari could have planned (if he was still alive) but of someone more cunning and more crafty. Noordin Mohammad Top.

Malaysia Boleh.