09 August 2009
Indonesia's Most Wanted Malaysian -- Part III
Most of the recent reports are suggesting that the of the men killed in yesterday's raids against Noordin M Top and his associates have not, as initially reported, resulted in the death of Top. This might be a big dampener for Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia, who has reportedly already called Indonesia's President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), to inquire about Top and congratulate his Indonesian counterpart on killing Top.
Australia's Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, has been a little more realistic in stating that it is still too early to tell whether any of those killed is Top. So, rather than speculate, he is going to wait and see. Although, what is clear is that the Australian government is appreciative of the efforts of Indonesia and the fight against terror.
Top is responsible for a large number of deaths, and the deaths of almost 100 Australians, in a series of bombings starting with the first Bali bombings of 2002.
I would not be sad if Top was killed yesterday. I would also not be sad if he was killed at some point in the future during a similar raid. If the man is guilty of the crimes that he has alleged to have committed, then there is no reason that I can conceive of to be sad. However, this lack of sadness must not be construed as condoning his killing.
To the contrary, my preference would be to see the man caught, interrogated, and then tried for his crimes. It is clear what a guilty verdict would mean in this case, particularly when one considers the sentences that were handed down to foot soldiers like Amrozi, Mukhlas, and Samudra.
Confirmation, one way or the other, will happen over the next week or so.
Then again, maybe not a week or so. Counter-terrorism forces are anonymously confirming that the fingerprints of the dead terrorist do not match those of Noordin M Top.
This is not good. The longer this man evades capture and succeeds in killing innocent people his status among his followers only increases as does the likelihood that his following among those vulnerable to his influence will also increase.