"When he recruited someone, he had a track record [in terrorism]. There are other individuals who have credentials and charisma, but they don't have the same track record as Noordin," says Noor Huda Ismail, a security expert who runs the International Institute for Peacebuilding in Indonesia.
Eyeing resilience of country's militants
But focusing on one man, however dangerous, may overlook the resilience of militant groups in Indonesia, a majority-Muslim democracy with a radical fringe. The death in 2005 of Azahari Hussin, a Malaysian explosives expert seen as Noordin's lieutenant, only proved a temporary setback for terrorism.
"Indonesia may become complacent after his death. But the threat is far from over," says Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore.
A parallel problem is the release of detained militants who have served jail sentences in Indonesia under often lax conditions. At least three of the suspects in the July 17 bombings were former prisoners, according to Mr. Noor, who advises prison officials on how to deal with such detainees.
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