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The long history of Jemaah Islamiyah and Indonesia, 2 LIPPO CIKARANG - The JI was established as a loose confederation of several Islamic groups. Sometime around 1969, two men, Abu Bakar Bashir,and Abdullah Sungkar, began an operation to propagate the Darul Islam movement, a conservative strain of Islam. Darul Islam was almost eliminated in the 1950s after members belonging to that sect instigated a rebellion in an effort to create an Islamic state in parts of Indonesia.

Bashir and his friends created a pirated radio outfit to preach to the poor and oppressed in Indonesia. Bashir created a boarding school in Java. The school's motto was, "Death in the way of Allah is our highest aspiration."

Bashir and Sungkar were both imprisoned by the New Order administration of Indonesian president Suharto as part of a crackdown on radical groups such as Komando Jihad, that were perceived to undermine the government's control over the Indonesian population. The two leaders spent several years in prison. After release, Bashir and his followers moved to Malaysia in 1982. They recruited people from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. The group officially named itself Jemaah Islamiyah around that time period.

In the mid and late 1980s, many members of JI, including Sungkar and Hambali joined the Mujahideen in the resistance movement against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. They were joined by radical Muslims from extremist groups worldwide. Many of the connections that define the global network of Islamist groups that exists today, including those between al-Qaeda and JI, were made during the conflict in Afghanistan.

Back in Southeast Asia, the members of JI distributed pamphlets. Bashir preached jihad but he would do very little violent action. This changed in the 1990s. Bashir met Riduan Isamuddin, a.k.a. Hambali sometime in the early 1990s at a religious school that Bashir set up. Bashir became the spiritual leader of the organization while Hambali became the military leader. Hambali wanted a large Islamic caliphate to be established across Southeast Asia, incorporating Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, and Cambodia.

JI first formed itself into a group of terrorist cells that provided financial and logistical support when needed, to Al-Qaida operations in Southeast Asia. Hambali formed a front company called Konsojaya to help launder money to such plots, including the Operation Bojinka plot, which was foiled on January 6, 1995. The leaders of JI went back to Indonesia in 1998, when Suharto's government was toppled. Hambali went underground while Bashir publicly promoted jihad.

In January 2000 cleric Hambali, al-Qaeda's key representative in Indonesia, hosted in Malaysia Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid al-Midhar, who would later take part in the September 11, 2001 attacks as hijackers. Unlike the Al-Mau'nah group, Jemaah Islamiah kept a low profile in Malaysia and their existence was publicized only after the 2002 Bali bombings.

In 2003 Indonesian police confirmed 'the existence of Mantiqe IV "- the JI regional cell" which covers Irian Jaya and Australia." Indonesian police saya Muklas has identified Mantiqe IV's leader as Abdul Rahim -an Indonesian born Australian'.

Indonesian investigators revealed the JI's establishment of an assassination squad in April 2007, which was established to target top leaders who oppose the group's objectives, as well as other officials, including police officers, government prosecutors and judges handling terrorism-related cases.

In April 2008, the South Jakarta District Court declared JI an illegal organisation when sentencing former leader Zarkasih and military commander Abu Dujana to 15 years on terrorism charges.


Related blog entry (category 'Terrorism') Related blog entry (category 'Terrorism'):
20 July 2009 · The long history of Jemaah Islamiyah and Indonesia, 1


Posted in Terrorism @ 20 July 2009 13:38 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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