Bali Bombing Mastermind Escapes Raid

Indonesian police raided a house Friday where one of the suspected masterminds of last week's Bali bombings was believed to be hiding out, but the Malaysian fugitive fled three hours earlier, officials said.

The pre-dawn raid occurred at a house in central Java province used by Noordin Mohamed Top (search), police said.

"We can confirm it was him," said Abdul Madjid, a police chief in the province.

Noordin, 35, is one of two Malaysians accused of planning Saturday's near-simultaneous suicide bombings on three crowded restaurants on the Indonesian resort island that killed 22, including the bombers. The other is Azahari bin Husin. Both are believed to be key leaders of the regional Al Qaeda-linked group Jemaah Islamiyah.

Both suspects also were allegedly behind the 2002 nightclub Bali nightclub bombings, which killed 202 people, and homicide attacks in Jakarta in 2004 and 2003 that killed 23.