JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH

QDe.092
JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH
Date on which the narrative summary became available on the Committee's website: 
28 March 2011
Date(s) on which the narrative summary was updated: 
3 February 2015
3 February 2016
17 April 2018
Reason for listing: 

Jemaah Islamiyah was listed on 25 October 2002 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” Al-Qaida (QDe.004).

Additional information: 

Founded in Malaysia on 1 January 1993 by Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir (QDi.217), Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) evolved from the long-established Indonesian militant movement, Darul Islam, into an organization with links to Al-Qaida (QDe.004) and strongly influenced by Usama bin Laden’s (deceased) ideology and methodology. The threat posed by JI is compounded by its development as a network that stretches over several countries in Southeast Asia. JI’s ultimate aim is the creation of a state based on extremist ideology which stretches across most of Southeast Asia.

Although JI remains an independent organization, making its own operational decisions, active networking by senior JI members has built its links with other terrorist groups, both local and international. JI has a common ideology with Al-Qaida and many members of the two organizations have a shared experience of training or fighting in Pakistan and Afghanistan during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

A key figure linking JI and Al-Qaida was JI’s chief of operations, Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin (QDi.087), a.k.a. Hambali, who was also a member of Al-Qaida. Hambali fought in Afghanistan in the mid-1980s and was responsible for establishing a network of militant cells across Southeast Asia in the 1990s. He was a close associate of Ramzi Yousef, currently in jail in the United States of America for his involvement in the attack on the World Trade Center on 26 February 1993. Hambali was also closely associated with individuals, including Ramzi Yousef, responsible for planning a coordinated bombing campaign against 12 United States commercial flights from Asia to the West Coast of the United States in January 1995.

Hambali was instrumental in arranging for JI members to receive training in Al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan, and a number of JI members detained in Singapore have admitted attending such camps. Hambali was also linked to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. He facilitated the visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in January 2000 of several Al-Qaida operatives, among whom Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi were involved in hijacking and crashing American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.

Another key JI figure with links to Al-Qaida is Fathur Rohman al-Ghozhi (deceased). Al- Ghozhi attended an Al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan between 1993 and 1994 before establishing a JI cell in the Philippines around 1996.

In addition to these personal associations between JI and Al-Qaida, other links exist between the two groups. JI surveillance video tapes, including tapes of potential bombing targets in Singapore, were recovered in 2001 from the ruins of the house of Al-Qaida military commander, Mohamed Atef, listed as Sobhi Abdel Aziz Mohamed el Gohary Abu Sinna (deceased), in Afghanistan. An Al-Qaida member was a key operative in the JI-planned bombings uncovered in Singapore in December 2001 and had provided operational assistance and funding to JI. In addition to dispatching JI operatives to Afghanistan for training, the Malaysian JI cell was responsible for establishing several front companies that could be used to channel Al-Qaida funds and procure weapons and bomb-making material.

JI has both the capability and intent to conduct terrorist attacks and has perpetrated such acts in an indiscriminate manner against diplomatic, civilian and military targets across the region:

  • JI members planned to bomb the diplomatic missions of Australia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States in Singapore as well as other United States and Singapore targets in Singapore. The plot was foiled when the Singaporean authorities arrested 13 members of the group in December 2001. They subsequently arrested another 21 persons, including a number of JI operatives, in August 2002. Singaporean authorities have reported that in retaliation for the December 2001 arrests, JI was planning to crash a plane into Changi International Airport in Singapore.
  • A JI leader and explosives expert, Fathur Rohman al-Ghozhi, admitted to helping plan and finance a series of bombings in the Philippines on 30 December 2000 that killed 22 persons and injured more than 100. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison in the Philippines for possession of explosives and passport offences.
  • JI’s chief of operations, Hambali, is wanted by the Indonesian authorities in connection with a series of coordinated bombings of Indonesian churches in Jakarta and eight other cities on 24 December 2000 that killed 18 persons and injured many others. According to a JI member, Hambali was also involved in the bombing of the residence of the Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia on 1 August 2000. That bombing killed two persons and seriously injured the Ambassador. Another associate of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, Agus Dwikarna (QDi.111), was sentenced to 17 years in prison in the Philippines for illegal possession of explosives.
  • JI was responsible for bombings in Bali on 12 October 2002, which killed 202 persons. It was also behind the bombing of J.W. Marriot Hotel, Jakarta in 2003 and the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2004. JI was also responsible for the bombings in Bali in 2005.

Authorities in Southeast Asia continue to regard JI as a threat and to launch operations against it. These include Malaysia’s arrest of two JI leaders in January 2008, and a succession of security force operations in Indonesia since August 2006. The arrests of associates of JI military leader Abu Dujana in March 2007 resulted in the discovery of significant amounts of explosive materiel, firearms, ammunition and pipe bombs. Further investigation led to the eventual arrest of JI emir Zarkasih and military commander Abu Dujana in June 2007. Nevertheless, JI is likely to have other as yet undiscovered caches of explosive materiel for future use.

While JI regional links likely persist, disruption by State authorities in the region has resulted in JI having to scale down its previous organizational structure from four “Mantiqi” territorial areas of responsibility, previously encompassing parts of Southeast Asia and Australia, to essentially only Mantiqi IIcovering Indonesia. JI has adopted a centralized structure that covers outreach activities, education, logistics and military affairs.

JI continues to recruit covertly from its network of boarding schools and study groups and through personal contacts. It continues to conduct limited training in Indonesia and the southern Philippines. JI funds its activities through donations from its members, criminal activity and affiliated business activity.

JI has no acknowledged leader but has a well-ordered succession plan, especially in the case of the arrest of the incumbent emir. Following arrests in June 2007, investigations revealed that Zarkasih had assumed the role of emergency JI emir in 2004, following the arrest of Abu Rusdan (QDi.186) who had assumed the position following the arrest of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir. Zarkasih was the JI emir until his arrest in 2007, since which time no new emir has been publicly identified.

JI’s membership is not publicly known and is estimated to be anywhere from less than one thousand to several thousand members, mostly concentrated in Java but also spread throughout the rest of Indonesia, and neighbouring countries.

Since August 2006, JI has not succeeded in conducting any terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia. However, within Indonesia, JI engaged in sectarian terrorist activities such as assassinations and bombings, principally in Poso, Central Sulawesi, until disrupted by Indonesian authorities in January 2007.

Within the Southeast Asia region, JI has continued to maintain active links with sub-groups of the Abu Sayyaf Group (QDe.001) – particularly through JI operatives Dulmatin, listed as Joko Pitono (deceased) and Umar Patek (QDi.294).

While fugitive in the Philippines, JI operatives have taken the opportunity to facilitate attacks with local terrorist groups against Philippine interests on the island of Mindanao. Multiple bombings with a JI signature were conducted on 10 October 2006 and 10 January 2007.

Despite the cumulative effects of disruption by regional authorities, the information and materiel seized during the arrests of JI leaders since 2006 demonstrate that JI retains the capability and intent to use terrorist violence.