Leading Australian journalist Sally Neighbour investigates the presumed mastermind behind last week’s hotel bombings in Jakarta, Noordin Mohammed Top:
Top is known not only as a master of disguise and skilled escape artist who has eluded an Indonesian police dragnet for seven years. He is also a logistical and technical mastermind and, even more troubling, a charismatic recruiter of young would-be martyrs who is known to have volunteers in the wings waiting to set off more bombs.
He also harbours a visceral hatred of Australia, which he has pinpointed repeatedly in his diatribes and is bound to target again in future attacks unless he is captured or killed.
So who is the ruthless technocrat who has defied the leadership of his organisation, Jemaah Islamiah, to carry on the murderous campaign for an Indonesian Islamic state?
Top mesmerises his young acolytes with tales of the suffering and death of Muslims in Palestine and Afghanistan and the heroic struggle being waged on their behalf.