The Chief of the Indonesian Police has confirmed that murderer Noordin Top, Indonesia’s and Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorist, was killed yesterday during a police raid in Central Java, Indonesia. Noordin was the mastermind behind the July 17 attacks on the Jakarta JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton that killed 7 people and wounded 53. He has also been implicated in every major terrorist attack in Indonesia beginning with the first Bali bombing in 2002 that killed 202 innocents.
The Islamist terrorist network in Indonesia will be severely damaged by this loss. But it is not out of commission. This is a long struggle. It will be won by eternal vigilance, and an understanding that it is not just the violent means of the extremists that is the enemy, but the tyrannical ideological goals shared by a range of fellow travelers and protectors. Ending terrorist attacks in Indonesia would be an extraordinary achievement for humanity; losing the battle against extremism in the halls of legislatures and public opinion would be a terrible tragedy.
As Indonesians prepare to celebrate Lebaran, the end of Noordin Top’s reign of terror is an early holiday blessing. Congratulations to our Indonesian friends. They are safer today, as is Southeast Asia and the rest of the civilized world.