NARRATIVE SUMMARIES OF REASONS FOR LISTING
QDi.087 NURJAMAN RIDUAN ISAMUDDIN
Date on which the narrative summary became available on the Committee’s website: 28 March 2011
Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin was listed on 28 January 2003 pursuant to paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1390 (2002) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of”; "supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material to"; "recruiting for"; or "otherwise supporting acts or activities of" Jemaah Islamiyah (QDe.092).
Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, has been a senior Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) (QDe.092) leader with close ties to Al-Qaida (QDe.004) and a long track record of involvement in terrorist activities. Isamuddin met JI founders Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir (QDi.217) in Indonesia in the 1980s prior to traveling to Afghanistan, where he trained at Rasul Sayyaf's Sada camp and fought alongside and had contact with several Al-Qaida leaders, including Usama bin Laden (deceased) and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. After returning to Indonesia in the early 1990s, Isamuddin further strengthened his association with Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, Abdullah Sungkar and Mohamad Iqbal Abdurrahman (QDi.086).
Isamuddin was the head of JI’s regional “shura”, a policy-making body of the organization. He was also considered JI’s director of operations, which oversaw JI’s financing, and served as the primary interface with Al-Qaida. He was Al-Qaida’s operations director for the Southeast Asia region.
Isamuddin was involved in the 1995 “Operation Bojinka” plot to bomb 11 United States commercial airliners in Asia and directed the late 2001 foiled plot to attack foreign targets in Singapore.
In 1999, Isamuddin arranged for a JI courier to deliver a surveillance videotape of a potential bombing target in Singapore to Al-Qaida member Sobhi Abdel Aziz Mohamed el Gohary Abu Sinna (deceased), also known as Mohamed Atef and as Abu Hafs al Masri, one of Usama bin Laden’s lieutenants in Afghanistan. Abu Sinna’s instructions to procure explosives and to short-list men to execute the attack were brought back by the courier to Isamuddin, who made arrangements for JI members to train in Al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan. Following the first arrests of JI members by the Singapore authorities in December 2001, Isamuddin met and urged some JI members to persist in their terrorist plans, which included a plot to attack simultaneously six locations in Singapore with truck bombs.
In addition to staging actual terrorist attacks in partnership with Al-Qaida, Isamuddin and JI assisted Al-Qaida operatives passing through Kuala Lumpur. Between December 1999 and January 2000 Isamuddin helped several veterans who had just finished training in Karachi, Pakistan, including Tawfiq bin Attash, also known as Khallad, to facilitate the USS Cole bombing. Isamuddin was videotaped in a January 2000 Al-Qaida meeting with two of the 11 September 2001 hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al‑Hazmi.
Isamuddin also was involved in planning a series of bombings in Manila, the Philippines, that killed 22 people and injured more than 100 on 30 December 2000. One JI member admitted to Philippines investigators that Isamuddin was also involved in the bombing of the residence of the Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia on 1 August 2000, which killed two people and seriously injured the Ambassador. In addition, Isamuddin was involved in a series of coordinated bombings of churches in Jakarta and eight other cities on 24 December 2000, killing 18 people and injuring many others.
Isamuddin helped Abu Sinna find a scientist for Al-Qaida to take over its biological weapons program by introducing a JI member, Yazid Sufaat (QDi.124), to Aiman Muhammed Rabi al-Zawahiri (QDi.006) in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In 2001, Sufaat spent several months attempting to cultivate anthrax for Al-Qaida in a laboratory he helped set up near Kandahar airport.
Isamuddin helped Noordin Mohammad Top (deceased) execute the 12 October 2002 Bali attack that killed 202 people and injured 209, and the 5 August 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Isamuddin and his younger brother, Gun Gun Rusman Gunawan (QDi.218), established and led a foreign student organization in Pakistan called Al-Ghuraba, which was linked to Al-Qaida and the Taliban. The Al-Ghuraba group was formed to groom the next generation of JI leaders, provide them with training in weapons and explosives, and give them firsthand experience in militant operations. The group also served as a JI sleeper cell. Al-Ghuraba cell members were instructed on suicide and hijacking operations.
Isamuddin was sought by authorities in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. He was arrested in Thailand in August 2003 and was in custody of the United States of America as of July 2007.
Related listed individuals and entities
Al-Qaida (QDe.004), listed on 6 October 2001
Jemaah Islamiyah (QDe.092), listed on 25 October 2002
Aiman Muhammed Rabi al-Zawahiri (QDi.006), listed on 25 January 2001
Mohamad Iqbal Abdurrahman (QDi.086), listed on 28 January 2003
Yazid Sufaat (QDi.124), listed on 9 September 2003
Abu Rusdan (QDi.186), listed on 16 May 2005
Zulkarnaen (QDi.187), listed on 16 May 2005
Abu Bakar Ba’asyir (QDi.217), listed on 21 April 2006
Gun Gun Rusman Gunawan (QDi.218), listed on 21 April 2006
Abdul Rahim Ba’asyir (QDi.293), listed on 19 July 2011