Slain regional al-Qaida commander Noordin Top was buried in a traditional Muslim funeral at his Malaysian boyhood village Friday, two weeks after Indonesian security forces killed him in a shootout.
After years of hunting for him, Indonesian police caught up with Noordin in Solo, Central Java, on Sept. 17. He was one of four militant suspects killed in a lengthy siege.
Regional leaders say Noordin's death could help undermine militant activities throughout Southeast Asia.
Noordin, 41, has been blamed for a string of terrorist attacks in Indonesia, where al-Qaida-funded suicide bombings have killed more than 250 people, most of them foreign tourists on the popular resort island of Bali, since 2002.
He left Malaysia in late 2001. He was accused of leading a splinter group of the al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian militant network al-Jemaah al-Islamiyah (JI).
Indonesian authorities handed over Noordin's body to his Malaysian-based wife and brother, who flew it back to Kuala Lumpur on Friday and returned to Noordin's home village in Malaysia's southern Pontian district.
The crowd, watched by a heavy police presence, watched as the body was taken into a mosque for ceremonial rites just before dusk.
Noordin’s brother-in-law, Supriyo, told reporters after the funeral, "We do not support what he had done, but he was good to our family and a good Muslim. What we are very unhappy about is the fact that his body took so long to return."
AP, Slain militant leader buried in Malaysia village, 3 Oct 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gCWJG2_iRRnrTtCnxcAjjm...
Reuters, Hundreds gather as Malaysia buries Noordin Top, 2 Oct 2009,
AFP, Noordin to be buried in Malaysia Friday: family rep, 3 Oct 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jOriGbwGZa_mv718Yi0eQ...