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Source Hints Body Not That Of Indonesia Militant Top

JAKARTA (Reuters) -- Forensic tests including on DNA, fingerprints, and hair of a man shot dead by Indonesian police during a raid targeting Noordin Mohammad Top do not match the militant, a source close to the investigation has said.

Malaysian-born Top is a prime suspect in last month's near simultaneous suicide attacks on Jakarta's JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels that killed nine people and wounded 53.

Police shot dead a man thought to be Top after an 18-hour siege on a farmhouse in rice fields in Central Java on August 8, but initial confidence it was Top appears to be fading.

"Sure, today at 10 o'clock the tests were already completed," said the source from police headquarters, who spoke on condition he was not named. "Twelve criteria for supporting evidence have been checked including DNA, fingerprints, hair, and so on."

"According to my friends, they don't match," said the source, adding that blood samples were taken from Top's son in Riau province.

The source said police could officially announce the results in two to three days.

Police will also check on a scar on Top's left eye brow and particular tooth pattern based on information from him Malaysian family, the source said.

A police spokesman could not immediately be reached, but a number of analysts and other sources quoted in the media have also denied that the dead man is Top.

"From the photos of the head of the body that was circulating in the Internet as well as some other information I can't quote the sources, we have no idea who it was," Sidney Jones, an expert on Islamic militants at the International Crisis Group, said on August 9.

Fingerprints, facial features, and the body posture of the man also did not match, the "Jakarta Globe" newspaper quoted an unnamed source from the antiterrorism unit Detachment 88 as saying.

Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert based in Singapore, also said he did not believe Top is dead and said it was "was a mistaken identity."

"There are people in detention who can surely identify Noordin Mohammad Top," he said.

Top, who formed a violent wing of the Jemaah Islamiah militant network, is blamed for a series of attacks including on the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2004 and in Bali in 2005.

Andi Widjajanto, a security expert at the University of Indonesia, said he believed the man killed in Central Java had been part of Noordin's group.

"I don't know who it was, but I'm sure the man was someone close to [Top's] group, and he had the loyalty to deviate attention by shouting from inside that he identified himself as Noordin Top," he said, referring to a media report that the man in the house had shouted out during the siege claiming to be Top.

The weekend raids in Central Java and Bekasi near Jakarta resulted in three suspects being killed and five arrested, and half-a-ton of explosives seized, which police said was supposed to be used in a suicide car bomb attack on the home of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.