A raid on a reported Noordin hideout in a bucolic Javanese village just days before the attacks turned up bombs “identical” to those used in Jakarta, police have said.
The raid also turned up something less usual for one of Asia’s most wanted men: a new wife and two young children, they said.
Noordin’s married life on the run is typical of how JI is held together by strong social bonds forged largely through schools and marriage, International Crisis Group analyst Sidney Jones said.
These bonds mean militants in Noordin’s network can evade capture, despite the fact that the majority of JI disapprove of spectacular and bloody militant attacks on foreigners, Jones said.
“I think there has always been a sense that family alliances are a key element that preserves the unity of the network,” she said.
“There is no question that when you marry into a family you add another layer of protection.”
There are around 50 schools in Indonesia with some link to JI, Jones said, providing a pool of recruits – as well as the husbands and wives that have kept generations of JI families together.
Two bodies are still unidentified.