Top terror suspect buried in Malaysia

By Jasbant Singh, Associated Press Writer (From Boston.com News of November 17, 2005)

Villagers carry Azahari bin Husin's coffin for burial near to his mother's grave in a small cemetery at Jasin, in southern Malacca Strait, Malaysia, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005. One of Southeast Asia's top terror suspects was buried by crowds of weeping relatives and childhood friends at a traditional Muslim funeral in a Malaysian village Thursday, a week after he was shot dead by police in Indonesia. Azahari, a Malaysian citizen known as "Demolition Man" because of his explosives' expertise, has been accused of being a key leader in the al-Qaida-linked terror group Jemaah Islamiyah, which has allegedly orchestrated four deadly attacks in Indonesia since 2002. (AP Photo / Andy Wong)
JASIN, Malaysia --One of Southeast Asia's top terror suspects was buried by crowds of weeping relatives and childhood friends at a traditional Muslim funeral Thursday in a Malaysian village, a week after he was killed by police in Indonesia.
Azahari bin Husin's body was brought to his home village in southern Malacca state, where 200 people gathered at night in drizzling rain to witness his burial near his mother's grave in a small cemetery. His corpse was earlier flown to Malaysia from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
Azahari, a Malaysian citizen known as "Demolition Man" because of his explosives expertise, has been accused of being a key leader in the al-Qaida-linked terror group Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been accused of orchestrating four deadly attacks in Indonesia since 2002.
He fled Malaysia in late 2001, leaving behind his wife and two children, when police uncovered his suspected role in terrorist activities.
Azahari's younger brother, Yusuf Husin, led a prayer ceremony at the funeral, held in a mosque. Mourners in the rubber plantation village -- including Azahari's 78-year-old father -- beseeched God to forgive Azahari for any wrongdoing.
"We are sorry if during his lifetime he has brought any misery to you unintentionally. Please bless his remains," Yusuf said.
Villagers voiced skepticism over the accusations against him.
"Azahari will always have friends here. We shouldn't be asked to believe what is written about him in the newspapers," a man who identified himself only as Yusri told reporters.
A former university lecturer in his 40s, Azahari was killed by police in a Nov. 9 raid on his hide-out in Batu, a resort town east of Jakarta.
He allegedly played a key role in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, and three other terror strikes that together killed 40, police say. He is believed to have received bomb-making training in the southern Philippines in 1999 and advanced training in Afghanistan in 2000.
The funeral came as a video was broadcast in Indonesia featuring a masked man believed to be Jemaah Islamiyah's key strategist and recruiter, Noordin Mohamad Top, who threatened attacks against U.S. allies in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The video was among several seized last week from the fugitive's safehouse in Central Java province, which he fled before a raid on the same day as the one that killed Azahari, police said.


Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"