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Jemaah Islamiyah

Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is an Islamist extremist organization based in Indonesia. The group seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate extending across Southeast Asia.

Key Statistics

1990 First Recorded Activity
2000 First Attack
2018 Profile Last Updated

Profile Contents

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Overview

Narrative of the Organization's History

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Organization

Leadership, Name Changes, Size Estimates, Resources, Geographic Locations

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Strategy

Ideology, Aims, Political Activities, Targets and Tactics

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Major Attacks

First Attacks, Largest Attacks, Notable Attacks

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Interactions

Foreign Designations and Listings, Community Relations, Relations with Other Groups, State Sponsors and External Influences

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Maps

Mapping relationships with other militant groups over time

Contact MMP

Send a message to the Mapping Militants team.

Download Full Profile as PDF

Last updated November 2018

How to Cite

Mapping Militant Organizations. “Jemaah Islamiyah.” Stanford University. Last modified November 2018. https://cisac.fsi.stanford.edu/mappingmilitants/profiles/jemaah-islamiyah
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Organizational Overview

Formed: 1990

Disbanded: Group is active. 

First Attack: December 24, 2000: Although JI was active throughout the 1990s, there is little verifiable reporting of their attacks until late 2000. In December 2000, JI targeted Christian churches, attacking them with a series of bombings on Christmas Eve (14 killed, 12 wounded).[1] 

Last Attack: July 17, 2009: The JW Marriot and the Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta’s business district were bombed. Terrorism analysts believe that the likely perpetrators were from JI (9 killed, 50 wounded).[2]

 

Executive Summary

Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is an Islamist extremist organization based in Indonesia. The group seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate extending across Southeast Asia. It originated in the late 1980s and was responsible for a number of high-profile attacks that mainly targeted Christians and Western interests throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, including the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed over 200. Following increased security efforts and internal splintering in the mid-2000s, JI has become less active.

 

Group Narrative

Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) is an Islamist extremist group in Indonesia that seeks to overthrow the government and create a pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia.[3] It has ideological origins in the Darul Islam (DI) movement of the 1950s and 1960s, in which insurgents of West Javanese descent carried out a violent campaign that attempted to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia.[4] 

Experts disagree on the exact date that JI was founded as an organization, but estimates range from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, suggesting that the group coalesced over time before formalizing.[5] The group was founded by Yemeni-born Indonesian clerics Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, who fled to Malaysia in the late 1980s to evade prison sentences for their ties to DI,.[6] There, they began to form a collective of Islamists and facilitated travel to Afghanistan for Southeast Asian Muslims seeking to join the fight against the Soviets and train there. Many of JI’s men trained in Afghanistan from the early- through mid-1990s, and some of the training camps were affiliated with AQ.[7] In addition to training, JI reportedly received resources and advising from Al Qaeda (AQ) throughout its formation.[8]

In the 1990s, JI established a presence in the Philippines and Indonesia. By the mid-1990s, Sungkar had established training camps in the Philippines, which led to a strong relationship between JI and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. JI relocated to Indonesia after political and economic crises in 1998 forced three-decade Indonesian President Suharto from office. Sungkar died there from natural causes.[9] Meanwhile, conflict erupted between Christians and Muslims in Indonesia in 1999 and 2000 during Indonesia’s transition to democracy, and JI fighters gained operational experience by attacking Christian churches and priests, particularly in West Java, Sumatra, and Lombok, in response to Christian attacks on Muslims.[10] The group was responsible for a string of church bombings in Indonesia in December 2000 that killed eighteen, as well as a series of bombings in Manila in the same month that killed twenty-two.[11]

Governments in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines actively pursued JI within their own borders, while the Indonesian government resisted pressure from the United States and other regional governments to crack down on the group until after the infamous Bali bombings in 2002.[12] Some experts believe that the lack of action was, at least in part, a result of the government’s refusal to acknowledge a nation-wide Islamic terrorist threat and unwillingness to campaign against this threat in a Muslim-majority public that doubted JI’s existence.[13] Indonesia was also undergoing a number of political changes, corruption scandals, and other instances of communal violence at the time.[14]

In the early 2000s, JI began to focus its attacks on Western and U.S. targets, a shift that was reflected in its actions and then publicly announced by Ba’asyir in 2002. In December 2001, Singaporean officials foiled a JI plot to attack U.S., Israeli, British, and Australian diplomatic buildings in Singapore.[15] Subsequent attacks on public spaces like malls, hotels, and restaurants demonstrated that the organization also seemed to become more willing to accept collateral loss of Muslim life.[16] In October of 2002, JI perpetrated its most notorious attack when it bombed two Bali nightclubs popular with foreign tourists, especially Australians, killing 202.[17]

Following the Bali bombing, Indonesian authorities joined other governments in cracking down on JI. In response, some JI leaders wanted to abandon mass-casualty terrorism and attempted to distance themselves from AQ’s calls to attack Western targets.[18] JI officially began to focus on religious outreach.  Despite increased security efforts and new goals among JI’s leaders, associated members and cells continued to carry out attacks that were attributed to JI. Moreover, during this time of fragmentation, media and analysts continued to refer to JI as a single organization.[19] In Jakarta, JI bombed the J.W. Marriott Hotel in August 2003 and the Australian Embassy in September 2004. In October 2005, a suicide bombing in Bali killed twenty-six.[20] These attacks were allegedly tied to a JI cell led by Mohammed Noordin Top, who became one of the most prominent JI leaders. He was killed in a shoot-out with Indonesian authorities in 2009.[21]

By the mid-2000s, national security efforts had begun to seriously degrade JI’s operational capabilities. Since 2002, governments of Southeast Asia have arrested over 400 suspected terrorists tied to the group, including JI’s operational chief in 2003 and two senior leaders in 2007. Security forces have killed a number of JI’s leaders as well, including the group’s senior bomb-maker in 2005, operational leader Mohammed Noordin Top in 2009, and senior leader Sanusi in November 2012.[22]

The increased security efforts not only decimated organizational leadership but also forced the remaining leaders to rethink the group’s strategy, resulting in increased fracturing through 2010.[23] When JI’s leaders seemed to set the group on a firm path to becoming a nonviolent organization, Ba’asyir left in 2008 to form a new organization, Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT).[24] In 2011, Ba’asyir was arrested and convicted for operating a militant training camp in Aceh funded by JAT and was sentenced to fifteen years in jail.[25] The last attack associated with JI came in July 2009, when suicide bombers linked to JI again attacked the J.W. Marriot in addition to the Ritz-Carlton in Jakarta, killing seven and injuring over fifty.[26] Since then, JI splinter groups and other Indonesian militant organizations have been more active and received more media attention than JI.[27] In 2014, Ba’ayshir allegedly declared his support for ISIS from prison, but what remains of JI’s leadership today is firmly anti-ISIS.[28]

JI has been relatively dormant in the past few years, though it remains a threat due to its ties with Al Qaeda and other affiliated groups. Additionally, the return of foreign fighters from Syria may lead to a resurgence of JI in Indonesia and the southern Asia Pacific.[29]

 

[1] "Arrests follow church bombings." BBC News. N.p., 26 Dec. 2000. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1087598.stm >.

[2] “TIMELINE: Attacks and plots blamed on Jemaah Islamiah in Asia.” Reuters. N.p. 17 Sep. 2009. Web. 11 Jan. 2015. < http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/17/us-indonesia-militants-timelin... Onishi, Norimitsu. "Indonesia Bombings Signal Militants' Resilience." The New York Times. July 17, 2009. Accessed November 12, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/world/asia/18indo.html.

[3] Golburt, Yanina. "An In-depth Look at the Jemaah Islamiyah Network." Al Nahklah 2 (Fall 2004): n. pag. Fletcher School Online Journal. The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Web. 8 June 2015. <http://fletcher.tufts.edu/~/media/Fletcher/Microsites/al%20Nakhlah/archi....

[4] "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Australian National Security. Government of Australia, 12 July 2013. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalsecurity.gov.au%2FListedterroristorganisations%2FPages%2FJem....}} {{"Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[5] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>; Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf; "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Australian National Security. Government of Australia, 12 July 2013. Web. 4 June 2015.

[6] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[7] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011: 5. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[8] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011: 2. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[9] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[10] Indonesia Backgrounder: How the Jemaah Islamiyah Terrorist Network Operates. Rep. no. 43. International Crisis Group, 11 Dec. 2002: ii. Web. 8 June 2015. <http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/indonesia/....

[11] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[12] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[13] Gwertzman, Bernard, and Sidney Jones. "Jones: Personal and Financial Ties Between Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah." Council on Foreign Relations. N.p., 04 Sept. 2003. Web. 28 June 2015. http://www.cfr.org/indonesia/jones-personal-financial-ties-between-al-qa... Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[14] "Indonesia Profile - Timeline - BBC News." BBC News. N.p., 21 May 2015. Web. 28 June 2015. <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-15114517>.

[15] “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>

[16] Golburt, Yanina. "An In-depth Look at the Jemaah Islamiyah Network." Al Nahklah 2 (Fall 2004): n. pag. Fletcher School Online Journal. The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Web. 8 June 2015. <http://fletcher.tufts.edu/~/media/Fletcher/Microsites/al%20Nakhlah/archi....

[17] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[18] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>; Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[19] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf; "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[20] “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>

[21] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[22] "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Terrorist Groups. National Counterterrorism Center, Sept. 2013. Web. 04 June 2015. http://www.nctc.gov/site/groups/ji.html; “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>

[23] Jones, Sidney. "ISIS in Southeast Asia: Problems Now and Later." Brookings Institution, Washington, DC. 29 June 2015. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/events/2015/06/05-sidney-jones-sea-isis....

[24] "Indonesia: The Dark Side of Jama'ah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT)." International Crisis Group. N.p., 6 July 2010. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-east-asia/indonesia/B10....

[25] "Indonesia Jails Cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir for 15 Years - BBC News." BBC News. 16 June 2011. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-13781199>.

[26] “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>; "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Australian National Security. Government of Australia, 12 July 2013. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalsecurity.gov.au%2FListedterroristorganisations%2FPages%2FJem....

[27] "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Terrorist Groups. National Counterterrorism Center, Sept. 2013. Web. 04 June 2015. <http://www.nctc.gov/site/groups/ji.html>.

[28] Jones, Sidney. "ISIS in Southeast Asia: Problems Now and Later." Brookings Institution, Washington, DC. 29 June 2015. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/events/2015/06/05-sidney-jones-sea-isis....

[29] "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Counter Extremism Project. Accessed November 11, 2018. https://www.counterextremism.com/threat/jemaah-islamiyah-ji.

Organizational Structure

Leadership, Name Changes, Size Estimates, Resources, Geographic Locations

    Leadership
  • Leadership
  • Name Changes
  • Size Estimates
  • Resources
  • Geographic Locations

Leadership

Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, also known as Abu Bakar Bashir (unknown – 2008): Ba’asyir was a founder of JI, along with Sungkar. He was JI’s spiritual leader until he founded the splinter group Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) in 2008 after leadership disagreements about group strategy.[1] He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2011 for inciting others to commit acts of terror and for funding and supporting a terrorist training camp in Indonesia’s Aceh province.[2]

Abdullah Sungkar (unknown – 1998): Sungkar was a founder of JI, along with Ba’asyir. He died of natural cause in 1998 after leading training efforts throughout the 1990s.[3]

Azhari Husin (unknown – 2005): Husin was a bomb-maker for the group who was suspected of planning several attacks in the early 2000s. He was killed in a police raid in 2005.[4]

Mohammed Noordin Top (unknown – 2009): Top allegedly led a faction of JI that was responsible for several attacks in the early 2000s. He was killed in a police raid in September 2009.[5]

Abu Jibril, aka Mohamad Iqbal Abdurrahman (unknown – June 2001): Jibril was JI’s second-in-command and was JI’s primary recruiter. He was arrested in Malaysia in June 2001.[6]

Hambali, aka Riduan Isamuddin: (unknown – August 2003): Hambali was JI’s operational leader and a head of a regional JI council until his 2003 arrest by Thai officials. He was also reportedly AQ’s director of operations in East Asia. He is currently in U.S. custody and, as of November 2018, has been held at Guantanamo for 12 years.[7]

Sanusi (unknown – 2012): Sanusi was a senior leader of JI. He was killed by Philippine security forces in November 2012.[8]

Zarkasih (unknown – 2007): Zarkasih was an emir of JI until his arrest by Indonesian police in 2007.[9] In April of 2008, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.[10]

 

[1] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>; "Indonesia: The Dark Side of Jama'ah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT)." International Crisis Group. N.p., 6 July 2010. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-east-asia/indonesia/B10....

[2] Barker, Anne. "Bali Bombings 'ideological Leader' Could Be Granted House Arrest." ABC News. March 02, 2018. Accessed November 11, 2018. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-03/bali-bombings-leader-bashir-could... "Indonesia Decides against Home Detention for Ailing JI Leader Abu Bakar Bashir: Report." The Straits Times. March 05, 2018. Accessed November 11, 2018. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/indonesia-decides-against-home....

[3] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[4] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[5] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>; “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>; Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[6] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[7] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>; "Hambali (Riduan Isamuddin) - The Guantánamo Docket." The New York Times. November 2018. Accessed November 11, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/guantanamo/detainees/10019-....

[8] "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Terrorist Groups. National Counterterrorism Center, Sept. 2013. Web. 04 June 2015. <http://www.nctc.gov/site/groups/ji.html>.

[9] Gelling, Peter. "Second Major Terrorism Arrest in Indonesia." New York Times. N.p., 15 June 2007. Web. 8 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2007%2F06%2F15%2Fworld%2Fasia%2F15iht-indo.1.6152360.h....

[10] Schmitt, Eric. "Setbacks Seen for Southeast Asia Terrorists." The New York Times. June 09, 2008. Accessed November 11, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/world/asia/09terror.html.

Name Changes

There are no recorded name changes for this group.

 

Size Estimates

  • 2007: More than 900 across Indonesia (Crisis Group)[1]
  • 2012: 500 to several thousand (U.S. State Department)[2]
  • 2012: About 3,000 (Michael Carter)[3]
  • 2014: Between 900 and several thousand (Australian National Security)[4]
  • 2018: Less than a thousand to several thousand (UN Security Council)[5]
 

[2] “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>

[3] Carter, Michael. “Islamic Terrorism in Southeast Asia: An Effects-Based U.S. Regional Strategy Against Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf” 12 Nov 2012. Paperback. 10 Jan 2015

[4] “Jemaah Islamiyah” Australian National Security. 2014. Web. 20 Jan 2015. <http://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/Listedterroristorganisations/Pages/Je...

[5] "JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH Security Council Subsidiary Organs." United Nations. April 2018. Accessed November 10, 2018. https://www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/1267/aq_sanctions_list/summari....

Resources

In addition to recruiting its members from personal contacts and religious study groups, JI also draws from a network of over fifty Islamic boarding schools that are sympathetic to JI’s goals. Imprisoned JI members have also reportedly had success recruiting other prisoners in jail.[1]

Funding comes from a variety of sources including member contributions, charitable organizations, legitimate business activities, criminal activity, and financers in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the broader Middle East.[2] There is also evidence of financial support from Al Qaeda (AQ), and some analysts believe that AQ funded the 2002 Bali bombing.[3]

The Hilal Ahmar Society Indonesia (HASI) is a non-governmental entity that has served as charitable front for the organization. JI has used HASI funds to recruit members and pay for deployment to Syria. The U.S. Department of Treasury called HASI JI’s “humanitarian wing” and designated the organization as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224” in September 2014.[4]

 

[1]  "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Australian National Security. Government of Australia, 12 July 2013. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalsecurity.gov.au%2FListedterroristorganisations%2FPages%2FJem....

[2] "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Australian National Security. Government of Australia, 12 July 2013. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalsecurity.gov.au%2FListedterroristorganisations%2FPages%2FJem... “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>

[3] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[4] "U.S. Department of the Treasury." Treasury Designates Twelve Foreign Terrorist Fighter Facilitators. September 24, 2014. Accessed November 11, 2018. https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2651.aspx.

Geographic Locations

Disclaimer: This is a partial list of where the militant organization has bases and where it operates. This does not include information on where the group conducts major attacks or has external influences.

  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • The Philippines

 

JI is based in Indonesia and reportedly has members in Malaysia and the Philippines.[1] The group aims to establish an Islamic caliphate across Indonesia, Malaysia, southern Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and the southern Philippines.[2]

 

[1] “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>

[2] “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>

Strategy

Ideology, Aims, Political Activities, Targets, and Tactics

    Ideology and Goals
  • Ideology and Goals
  • Political Activities
  • Targets and Tactics

Ideology and Goals

Some analysts describe JI’s ideology as a combination of Darul Islam’s and Saudi Wahhabism.[1] JI aims to overthrow the Indonesian government and plans to create a pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia that spans across Indonesia, Malaysia, southern Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and the southern Philippines.[2]

 

[1] Golburt, Yanina. "An In-depth Look at the Jemaah Islamiyah Network." Al Nahklah 2 (Fall 2004): n. pag. Fletcher School Online Journal. The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Web. 8 June 2015. <http://fletcher.tufts.edu/~/media/Fletcher/Microsites/al%20Nakhlah/archi....

[2] "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Australian National Security. Government of Australia, 12 July 2013. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalsecurity.gov.au%2FListedterroristorganisations%2FPages%2FJem... “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>

Political Activities

There are no recorded political activities for this group.

Targets and Tactics

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, most of JI’s operations targeted Christians, attacking churches and priests in response to massacres of Muslims by Christians, particularly in West Java, Sumatra, and Lombok.[1] In 2002, Ba’asyir publicly announced the organizational shift toward attacking Western and U.S. interests. Common targets included diplomatic facilities and tourist destinations like hotels. The group primarily used bombs in attacks.[2] 

In the mid 2000s, facing increased security, JI began to shift toward using nonviolent tactics in its efforts to create an Islamic caliphate in Southeast Asia. The last official JI attack came in 2007, although attacks carried out by associated members and cells have been tied to the group since then.[3]

 

[1] Indonesia Backgrounder: How the Jemaah Islamiyah Terrorist Network Operates. Rep. no. 43. International Crisis Group, 11 Dec. 2002: ii. Web. 8 June 2015. <http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/indonesia/...

[2] Golburt, Yanina. "An In-depth Look at the Jemaah Islamiyah Network." Al Nahklah 2 (Fall 2004): n. pag. Fletcher School Online Journal. The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Web. 8 June 2015. <http://fletcher.tufts.edu/~/media/Fletcher/Microsites/al%20Nakhlah/archi....

[3] Jones, Sidney. "ISIS in Southeast Asia: Problems Now and Later." Brookings Institution, Washington, DC. 29 June 2015. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/events/2015/06/05-sidney-jones-sea-isis....

cardinal red photo

Major Attacks

Disclaimer: These are some selected major attacks in the militant organization’s history. It is not a comprehensive listing but captures some of the most famous attacks or turning points during the campaign.

Although factions within JI were responsible for some attacks without operational support from the group’s official leadership, attacks are generally attributed to the group as a whole.

December 24, 2000: JI targeted several Christian churches across Indonesia, attacking them with a series of bombings on Christmas Eve (14 killed, 12 wounded).[1]

October 12, 2002: JI planned and executed bombings at a nightclub in Bali, killing 202. Many of the victims were foreign tourists, including 88 Australians (202 killed, unknown wounded).[2]

March 4, 2003: Authorities suspected JI’s involvement in bombings near a ferry terminal in the southern Philippines where the government was fighting Muslim separatist rebels (16 killed, unknown wounded).[3]

August 5, 2003: JI was responsible for bombing the JW Marriot in Jakarta (12 killed, 150 wounded).[4]

September 9, 2004: JI reportedly set off a bomb near the Australian embassy in Jakarta (10 killed, 100 wounded).[5]

October 2, 2005: JI was believed to be responsible for bombings in Jimbaran Bay and Kuta, tourist destinations in Bali, Indonesia (26 killed, 102 wounded).[6]

October 5, 2007: Two bombs exploded in the street in the Philippines city of Kidapawan City (2 killed, 36 wounded).[7]

July 17, 2009: The JW Marriot and the Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta’s business district were bombed by militants who were allegedly part of Noordin Top’s JI cell. It was the second time that this particular Marriot had been targeted by JI (9 killed, 50 wounded).[8]

 

[1] "Arrests follow church bombings." BBC News. N.p., 26 Dec. 2000. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1087598.stm >.

[2] Timeline: Attacks and plots blamed on Jemaah Islamiyah in Asia” Reuters 17 Sept 2009. Web. 23 Jan 2015 < http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/17/us-indonesia-militants-timelin...

[3] “ 16 Die in Bombing in Southern Philippines; Rebels Deny Link” New York Times. 4 Mar 2003. Web. 12 Jan 2015 < http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/03/world/16-die-in-bombing-in-southern-ph...

[4] “TIMELINE: Attacks and plots blamed on Jemaah Islamiah in Asia.” Reuters. N.p. 17 Sep. 2009. Web. 11 Jan. 2015. < http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/17/us-indonesia-militants-timelin... .

[5] “TIMELINE: Attacks and plots blamed on Jemaah Islamiah in Asia.” Reuters. N.p. 17 Sep. 2009. Web. 11 Jan. 2015. < http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/17/us-indonesia-militants-timelin... .

[6] “Bali terrorist blasts kill at least 26”  CNN 2 Oct 2005. Web 12 Jan 2015 < http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/10/01/bali.blasts/>

[7] AFP. "Child Killed, 32 Injured in Southern Philippine Bombings." AAJ News. N.p., 5 Oct. 2007. Web. 29 June 2015. http://www.aaj.tv/2007/10/child-killed-32-injured-in-southern-philippine... "Incident Summary:." Global Terrorism Database. START UMD, n.d. Web. July 2018. <http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/search/IncidentSummary.aspx?gtdid=200710050....

[8] “TIMELINE: Attacks and plots blamed on Jemaah Islamiah in Asia.” Reuters. N.p. 17 Sep. 2009. Web. 11 Jan. 2015. < http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/17/us-indonesia-militants-timelin... ; “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>; Onishi, Norimitsu. "Indonesia Bombings Signal Militants' Resilience." The New York Times. July 17, 2009. Accessed November 12, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/world/asia/18indo.html.

Interactions

Foreign Designations and Listings, Community Relations, Relations with Other Groups, State Sponsors and External Influences

    Designated/Listed
  • Designated/Listed
  • Community Relations
  • Relationships with Other Groups
  • State Sponsors and External Influences

Designated/Listed

  • October 10, 2002: The U.S. Secretary of State designated JI as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (U.S. State Department).[1]
  • May 25, 2010: The United Nations added JI to Al Qaeda Sanctions list (UNSC).[2]
  • September 24, 2014: The U.S. Department of Treasury added the humanitarian wing of JI, The Hilal Ahmar Society Indonesia (HASI), to the Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) list (U.S. Treasury Department).[3]
 

[1] “Chapter 6. Foreign Terrorist Organizations” U.S.  State Department. 20 May 2013. Web. 29 Jan 2015 < http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2012/209989.htm>

[2] “The List established and maintained by the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee with respect to individuals, groups, undertakings and other entities associated with Al-Qaida.” U.N. 2 Jan 2015. Web. 15 Jan. 2015. <http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/pdf/AQList.pdf>

[3] "U.S. Department of the Treasury." Treasury Designates Twelve Foreign Terrorist Fighter Facilitators. September 24, 2014. Accessed November 11, 2018. https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2651.aspx.

Community Relations

The Indonesian public initially was largely unenthusiastic about opposing JI and other Islamist terrorism groups, in part because many Indonesians doubted the group’s existence in its early years.[1] However, after continued attacks, particularly the Bali Bombings in 2002, public disapproval of Islamist terrorism increased in Indonesia. This culminated in the 2004 election of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to the Indonesian presidency, a general famous for his opposition to terrorism.[2]

 

[1] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf; "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[2] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

Relationships with Other Groups

JI has links to Al Qaeda (AQ), although reports vary on how strong the ties are today and whether or not they extend to operations. Some analysts go so far as to say that JI is essentially an AQ branch in Southeast Asia, while others claim the goals of the two organizations don’t align, as JI focuses on establishing a regional caliphate while AQ ultimately aspires to have global influence.[1] AQ reportedly provided training, resources, and advising to JI leaders from its creation, beginning in the late 1980s.[2] Some members of JI received training in AQ affiliated camps in Afghanistan during the mid-1990s.[3] Multiple individuals from JI have either worked for or maintained close ties with both JI and AQ. For example Hambali, JI’s operational leader and a head of a regional JI council until his 2003 arrest by Thai officials, was also reportedly AQ’s director of operations in East Asia.[4] He was reportedly a key factor in the relationship between AQ and JI, and his appreciation of AQ’s ideology and goals oriented him to attack Western targets.[5] Analysts also agree that AQ influences JI ideologically and encouraged attacks on the West like the 2002 Bali bombing.[6] However, it appears that AQ’s influence on the group has declined since the early years of JI.[7]

In 2008, JI founder and spiritual leader Ba’aysir founded a new group, Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), after clashing with other JI leaders over the group’s strategy.[8] Despite disagreements at the leadership level, JAT has allegedly drawn a number of members from JI.[9]

JI has ties to other Islamist groups operating in Indonesia and broader Southeast Asia, especially those sharing origins in Darul Islam. These groups include Jamaah Anshurat Tauhid, Front Pembela Islam, Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, KOMPAK, Lashkar Jundullah and Majelis Dakwah Umat Indonesia.[10]  Its 1990s training camps in Mindanao helped establish a relationship with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines, and the groups have reportedly maintained good relations.[11] JI also reportedly has ties to Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines.[12] Although former leader Ba’aysir allegedly announced support for ISIS in 2014, JI has taken an anti-ISIS stance.[13]

 

[1] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[2] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011: 2. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[3] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011: 5. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[4] "Jemaah Islamiyah (a.k.a. Jemaah Islamiah)." Backgrounders. Council on Foreign Relations, 19 June 2009. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cfr.org%2Findonesia%2Fjemaah-islamiyah-k-jemaah-islamiah%2Fp8948>.

[5] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011: 2. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[6] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011: 2. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[7] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011: 2. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[8] "Ba'asyir 'minta' Pengikutnya Dukung ISIS - BBC Indonesia." BBC Indonesia. N.p., 14 July 2014. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.bbc.com/indonesia/berita_indonesia/2014/07/140714_baasyir_isis>.

[9] "Indonesia: The Dark Side of Jama'ah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT)." International Crisis Group. N.p., 6 July 2010. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-east-asia/indonesia/B10....

[10] "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Australian National Security. Government of Australia, 12 July 2013. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalsecurity.gov.au%2FListedterroristorganisations%2FPages%2FJem....

[11] Gordon, David, and Samuel Lindo. AQAM Futures Project - Jemaah Islamiyah. Rep. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nov. 2011. Web. 4 June 2015. <http://csis.org/files/publication/111101_Gordon_JemaahIslamiyah_WEB.pdf>.

[12] "Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)." Australian National Security. Government of Australia, 12 July 2013. Web. 4 June 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalsecurity.gov.au%2FListedterroristorganisations%2FPages%2FJem....

[13] Jones, Sidney. "ISIS in Southeast Asia: Problems Now and Later." Brookings Institution, Washington, DC. 29 June 2015. Web. 29 June 2015. <http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/events/2015/06/05-sidney-jones-sea-isis....

State Sponsors and External Influences

As of November 2018, JI does not appear to have a state sponsor.

 

Maps

The project develops a series of interactive diagrams that "map" relationships among groups and show how those relationships change over time. The user can change map settings to display different features (e.g., leadership changes), adjust the time scale, and trace individual groups.