First bank heist, then Jakarta bombings

Police hunting for Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist Noordin Top have in their custody a confessed bank robber who could give critical clues to last month’s hotel bombings in the Indonesian capital.

In the initial years of the region-wide manhunt for Jemaah Islamiah (JI) militants, Malaysian Noordin Top was never considered a major player.

The man, Safrizal Safwan, surrendered recently. He was one of four robbers who took part in a heist on an Aceh bank in June, security officials say.

Three of his accomplices are still at large with a loot of more than US$45,000, which security officials believe may have funded the bombing of the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels on July 17.

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