Islamic militant threatens West in a video

Thursday, November 17, 2005 A masked man, believed by officials to be Noordin Mohammad Top, a key figure in militant Islamic terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah, threatened Western countries in a video broadcast on Indonesia's Metro TV on Thursday. The man specifically named the US, Australia, the UK and Italy as targets of his group’s next attack.

The video was found in a house the Indonesian police raided last week, where Top narrowly escaped being captured. A similar raid on a house in East Java resulted in the death of his associate, Azahari Husin.

The masked man on the video said that "as long as you keep your troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and intimidate Muslim people, you will feel our intimidation and our terror." He continued, "America, Australia, England and Italy. You will be the target of our next attack."

The man focused especially on Australia, saying: "We especially remind Australia that you, Downer and Howard, are killing Australia, leading it into darkness and misfortune and mujahideen terror." Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer dismissed the message by saying that no democratic country should be intimidated by "a fanatic like Noordin Top".

Noordin Mohammad Top is a Malaysian senior operative of Jemaah Islamiyah, a group which is seen as the regional arm of international Islamic fundamentalist campaign Al-Qaeda. Police have been trying to catch Top, an expert in recruiting suicide bombers, and Azahari, Jemaah Islamiyah's bombmaker, since the 2002 Bali bombing in which 202 people were killed.

The video also showed three young suicide bombers who killed 20 people in attacks on restaurants on the island of Bali on October 1. One of the men, Muhammad Salik Firdaus, said on the film: "My brother and wife, God willing, when you see this recording I'll already be in heaven." Bali police Chief I Made Mangku Pastika said that three men were currently being questioned over their role in the bombings and that they were "certainly also linked to the Bali bombs."