[Nasional-e] [Nasional] INDONESIA BACKGROUNDER: HOW THE JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH TERRORIST
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BERSATU KITA TEGUH, BERCERAI KITA RUNTUH
HOW THE JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH TERRORIST NETWORK OPERATES
11 December 2002
Asia Report N°43
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH AND MMI: A REAPPRAISAL
III. THE CHRISTMAS EVE BOMBINGS
IV. THE CHRISTMAS EVE BOMBINGS IN MEDAN AND THE ACEH CONNECTION
A. ACEH AND JI'S RELATIONSHIP WITH GAM DEFECTORS
B. THE MEDAN BOMBINGS
C. THE PEKANBARU, RIAU CONNECTION
V. THE LOMBOK-SUMBAWA CONNECTION
VI. THE WEST JAVA CHRISTMAS EVE BOMBS
VII. THE SULAWESI AND KALIMANTAN CONNECTION
VIII. JIHAD IN POSO AND MALUKU
A. LASKAR MUJAHIDIN IN MALUKU
B. LASKAR JUNDULLAH IN POSO
D. IMAM SAMUDRA'S HALAQAH
E. MALUKU'S IMPORTANCE TO THE JI NETWORK
A. PARTIAL LIST OF BOMBINGS IN INDONESIA ATTRIBUTED TO JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH
B. INDEX OF NAMES AND ORGANISATIONS
C. MAP OF INDONESIA
D. GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS
E. ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP
F. ICG REPORTS AND BRIEFING PAPERS
G. ICG BOARD MEMBERS
ICG Asia Report N°43 11 December 2002
INDONESIA BACKGROUNDER : HOW THE JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH TERRORIST NETWORK OPERATES
As the Indonesian-led investigation proceeds, the Bali attack on 12 October 2002
looks more and more like the work of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). But what exactly is
Jemaah Islamiyah and how does it operate? It is one thing to describe, as many
have by now, a network of Islamic radicals extending across Southeast Asia, led by
Indonesian nationals, with a loose structure characterised by four territorial
divisions known as mantiqis that cover peninsular Malaysia and Singapore; Java;
Mindanao, Sabah, and Sulawesi; and Australia and Papua respectively.
It is another to get a feel for how people are drawn into the network, what
characteristics they share, what motivates them, and what resources they can draw
ICG examined earlier bombings in Indonesia linked to JI to try to answer some of
these questions. There was no shortage of cases: JI has been linked to dozens of
deadly attacks across Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia from 1999 to the
present. ICG looked in particular, however, at the Christmas Eve bombings of
December 2000, in part because they covered so much territory: more than 30 bombs
were delivered to churches or priests in eleven Indonesian cities across six
provinces, all wired to explode around the same time. If we could understand who
the foot soldiers were from one end of the country to the other, perhaps we could
get a better sense of JI as an organisation.
The report, therefore, takes the Christmas Eve bombings in Medan, North Sumatra;
Bandung and Ciamis, West Java; and Mataram, Lombok, in Nusa Tenggara Barat
Province as a starting point. Using trial documents, police information, and
extensive interviews, it examines the network linked to JI in each area. Research
for this report was conducted over a two-month period by a team consisting of ICG
staff and consultants.
Several findings emerge:
- JI does appear to operate through cells but with a rather loosely
organised and somewhat ad hoc structure. The top strategists appear to be protégés
of Abdullah Sungkar, the co-founder with Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, of Pondok Ngruki, a
pesantren (religious boarding school) in Central Java, mostly Indonesian nationals
living in Malaysia, and veterans of the anti-Soviet resistance or, more
frequently, the post-Sovietperiod in Afghanistan. A trusted second tier, who share
many of those characteristics, appear to be assigned as field coordinators,
responsible for delivering money and explosives and for choosing a local
subordinate who can effectively act as team leader of the foot soldiers.
The bottom rung, the people who drive the cars, survey targets, deliver the bombs,
and most often risk arrest, physical injury, or death, are selected shortly before
the attack is scheduled. They are mostly young men from pesantrens (religious
boarding schools) or Islamic high schools. The schools that provide the recruits
are often led by religious teachers with ties to the Darul Islam rebellions of the
1950s or to Pondok Ngruki.
- Until the Bali attack, the motivation for bombings appears to have been
revenge for massacres of Muslims by Christians in Indonesia -Maluku, North Maluku,
and Poso (Central Sulawesi) where communal conflict erupted in 1999 and 2000. With
a few exceptions, such as the attack on the residence of the Philippine ambassador
in Jakarta in August 2000, the targets were mostly churches and priests.
Recruitment of foot soldiers was often preceded by discussions about Maluku and
Poso or the showing of videos about the killings taking place there. Those
conflicts not only served to give concrete meaning to the concept of jihad, a key
element of JI's ideology, but also provided easily accessible places where
recruits could gain practical combat experience.
The U.S.-led war on terror now appears to have replaced Maluku and Poso as
the main object of JI's wrath, especially as those conflicts have waned, and the
targeting in Bali of Westerners, rather than Indonesian Christians, may be
indicative of that shift.
- Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, now under arrest in a police hospital in Jakarta, is
the formal head of Jemaah Islamiyah, but a deep rift has emerged between him and
the JI leadership in Malaysia, who find him insufficiently radical. Ba'asyir
undoubtedly knows far more than he has been willing to divulge about JI
operations, but he is unlikely to have been the mastermind of JI attacks.
- A curious link appears in the Medan Christmas Eve bombing between the
Acehnese close to JI and Indonesian military intelligence, because both are
bitterly opposed to the Acehnese rebel movement, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka or GAM. This
link needs to be explored more fully: it does not necessarily mean that military
intelligence was working with JI, but it does raise a question about the extent to
which it knew or could have found out more about JI than it has acknowledged.
This is a background report, containing more in the nature of conclusions than
familiar ICG recommendations. But there are three courses of action which the
Indonesian government authorities should, in the light of our findings, certainly
- Reopen investigations into earlier bombings, with international assistance
if possible, as to an extent is being done but as a top priority and with a new
investigation strategy involving systematic pooling of all information from across
the country and review of cases where "confessions" were alleged to have been
extracted under torture.
- Strengthen intelligence capacity and coordination, but through a focus on
the Indonesian police, rather than on the National Intelligence Agency (Badan
Intelijen Nasional) or the army.
- Address corruption more seriously in the police, army, and immigration
service, with particular attention to the trade in arms and explosives.
Jakarta/Brussels, 11 December 2002
ICG Asia Report N°43 11 December 2002
INDONESIA BACKGROUNDER: HOW THE JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH TERRORIST NETWORK OPERATES
The 12 October 2002 attacks in Bali that killed almost 200 people were the most
devastating of a series of bombings across Indonesia and the Philippines that have
been attributed to Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). JI, an organisation set up in Malaysia
by Indonesian nationals in the mid-1990s that has links to al-Qaeda, has a network
of supporters across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the southern Philippines
and has reached out to Muslim organisations in Thailand and Burma. The oil-rich
state of Brunei may be within its sights as well as a possible source of support
This report follows-up an August 2002 briefing by ICG, which examined the
historical and intellectual antecedents of people linked to JI. That briefing
focused on the Darul Islam rebellions in Indonesia in the 1950s and on the central
role of a religious boarding school in Solo, Central Java, called Pondok Ngruki
and its two founders, Abdullah Sungkar, now dead, and Abu Bakar Ba'asyir. The
exact nature of the structure and organisation of JI in Indonesia remained
In the months that followed, much was published about JI, largely based on
regional intelligence sources. Singapore's representative to the United Nations,
Kishore Mahbubani, summed up much of the existing knowledge when Singapore in
October formally requested the committee set up under Security Council Resolution
1267 to add Jemaah Islamiyah to its list of terrorist organisations associated
with al-Qaeda. . JI, the Singaporean government said:
is a clandestine regional terrorist organisation formed by the late Indonesian
cleric Abdullah Sungkar. On his death, the leadership (amir) of the JI was assumed
by another Indonesian, Abu Bakar Bashir [sic]. The JI aims to set up a pan-Islamic
state in Southeast Asia … through terrorist means and revolution. The JI
organisation consists of four districts or territories (mantiqis) which are in
turn made up of several branches (wakalahs). The Singapore JI is a wakalah level
network under the Malaysian JI mantiqi which was headed by Hambali (a.k.a. Riduan
Isamuddin) until the latter half of 2001 when he was wanted by the Malaysian
authorities in connection with violence linked to the Kumpulan Militant Malaysia
(KMM). The Malaysian mantiqi leadership position was then assumed by one ustaz
After the Bali bombings, international scrutiny of JI increased but reporting
tended to focus on the role of Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, especially after his arrest in
mid-October; the whereabouts of top JI figure Hambali; or the immediate circle of
those suspected of direct involvement in the attack.
ICG was interested in gaining a deeper understanding of JI's network in Indonesia:
who is recruited and how, what motivates them, and what the relationship is
between leaders and followers. To do this, ICG looked more closely at one of JI's
major operations, the Christmas Eve bombings of December 2000 in which the plan
was for explosions to go off at the same time in churches across Indonesia.
While much information emerged on those issues in the course of the research, ICG
also made some unexpected findings:
- The hardliners within JI and the strategists of its bombing campaigns have
reportedly fallen out with Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, whom they consider insufficiently
radical. He and some of his closest followers were reportedly opposed to the Bali
bombings for tactical reasons.
- The network in Indonesia on which JI can draw extends geographically from
Aceh in the west to Sumbawa in the east, and probably further to Flores. It
includes alumni of Pondok Ngruki, pesantrens led by Darul Islam-affiliated kyai
(religious leaders), veterans of the conflicts in Maluku and Poso - but not Laskar
Jihad members - and veterans of Afghanistan.
- A few of the Acehnese who are close to the JI leadership are also close to
Indonesian military intelligence. For historical and political reasons, the
interests of JI and military intelligence intersect in Aceh because both are
opposed to the Acehnese rebel movement, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka or GAM.
- All the attention in 2001 to an "al-Qaeda training camp" in Poso has
obscured the fact that JI members or sympathisers ran dozens of camps throughout
Indonesia, some of which included foreign trainers. They were mostly small
operations involving a dozen or so trainees at a time, who were taught use of
weapons and bomb-making as preparation for fighting in Maluku and Poso.
- The conflicts in Maluku and Poso were critical to recruitment into JI and
development of combat experience and military skills. Indeed, for at least two
years, those conflicts may have taken the place of Afghanistan and the southern
Philippines as training centres, not just for Indonesian Islamic radicals but for
non-Indonesians linked to JI as well.
- To the extent that those conflicts have cooled down considerably,
important questions arise: does JI have the capacity to heat them up? As the
Maluku and Poso conflicts wane, has targeting of Westerners replaced the targeting
of Indonesian Christians, a characteristic of JI operations throughout 2000 and
2001? And where will JI's next training ground of choice be located?
- The quick and credible results produced thus far by the team of Indonesian
and international investigators working on the Bali case, in particular the
arrests of Amrozi (on 5 November 2002); Abdul Aziz alias Imam Samudra (on 21
November 2002); Ali Gufron alias Muchlas (on 3 December 2002) and more than a
dozen others, have done much to convince a sceptical Indonesian public that
home-grown radicals were involved in the Bali killings. On 28 November 2002, I
Made Pastika, the police general heading the Bali inquiry, said the results
"should put to rest widespread doubts about whether JI exists in Indonesia".
II. JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH AND MMI: A REAPPRAISAL
Abdullah Sungkar, the co-founder with Abu Bakar Ba'asyir of Pondok Ngruki, started
Jemaah Islamiyah in Malaysia around 1995. It was an ideological hybrid. The
influence of Egyptian Islamist radicalism was strong, in terms of organisational
structure, secrecy, and the mission of jihad. The Darul Islam rebellions of the
1950s remained an important inspiration but there was a pronounced anti-Christian
tinge to JI teachings that was uncharacteristic of Darul Islam. People close to
Abdullah Sungkar attribute this to his long association with the Indonesian
Islamic Propagation Council (Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia or DDII) that one
scholar noted had "an almost paranoid obsession with Christian missionary efforts
as a threat to Islam and an increasingly strong orientation towards the Middle
East, notably Saudi Arabia".
A student of Sungkar's said he frequently compared the struggle of Muslims in
Indonesia to that of the Prophet in Mecca. Just as the Prophet had had to adopt a
strategy of working in secret, so any attempt to struggle openly for an Islamic
state was likely to be crushed by the enemies of Islam. Sungkar's teachings were
promoted through not only JI but also the pesantren or religious school he helped
found in Malaysia called Pondok Pesantren Luqmanul Hakiem in Johor. Amrozi, the
Bali bombing suspect, was a student at this school, which he acknowledged was as a
JI institution. In his interrogation deposition, Abu Bakar Ba'asyir said that
Malaysian authorities accused the pesantren of having a Wahabist orientation.
When Abdullah Sungkar died in November 1999, shortly after his return to
Indonesia, Ba'asyir was named his successor as head of JI. But many of Sungkar's
Indonesian recruits, particularly the more militant younger ones, were very
unhappy with the idea of Ba'syir taking over. This younger group reportedly
included Riduan Isamuddin alias Hambali; Abdul Aziz alias Imam Samudra, arrested
in West Java on 21 November 2002; Ali Gufron alias Muchlas (the older brother of
Amrozi, a key suspect in the Bali bombings, arrested on 3 December; and Abdullah
Anshori, alias Abu Fatih, among others. They saw Ba'asyir as too weak, too
accommodating, and too easily influenced by others.
The split worsened when Ba'asyir, together with Irfan Awwas Suryahardy and
Mursalin Dahlan, both Muslim activists and former political prisoners, founded the
Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI) in August 2000. According to the radicals, the
concept of MMI diverged from Abdullah Sungkar's aims. For one thing, they felt it
betrayed Sungkar's ijtihad politik or political analysis that JI should remain
underground until the time was ripe to move toward an Islamic state. Abu Bakar
Ba'asyir argued that the post-Soeharto openness offered opportunities; not to take
advantage of them was not just wrong, it was sinful.
The radicals retorted that the political system might be more open, but it was
still controlled by infidels. They were upset that MMI welcomed representatives of
Muslim political parties working for Islamic law, because according to Sungkar's
teachings, any accommodation with a non-Islamic political system could contaminate
the faithful and was forbidden.
It was anathema to Sungkar's devotees when Fuad Amsyari, secretary of the
religious council of MMI, suggested it was better to work for Islamic law through
the Indonesian parliament and voting for candidates of Muslim parties than to
abstain (golput) in Indonesian elections. The radicals' anger deepened when
Ba'asyir brought a lawsuit against the Singaporean government earlier this year,
because it suggested the legitimacy of a non-Islamic legal system.
(The philosophy of the radicals may be gleaned from examining a website that Imam
Samudra told reporters reflected the ideas behind JI's struggle.)
After the Omar al-Faruq confession appeared in Time magazine in September 2002,
MMI-JI held several meetings in quick succession in which Ba'asyir argued
strenuously that bombings and the armed struggle for an Islamic state should be
put on hold for the time being because they would have negative repercussions for
MMI reportedly called meetings with its JI members in the Perak area of Surabaya;
Lamongan; and Mojokerto, among other places, to discuss the possibility of
bombings and argue that the moment was not ripe to go forward because the U.S. and
Indonesia acting in concert could crack down on Muslim activists. It was not that
Ba'asyir disagreed with violence as a tactic. He was concerned that the timing was
Ba'asyir's advice went down poorly among JI members, and while they continued to
show respect and acknowledge him as de jure head of JI, the radicals began
searching for new leaders closer to their way of thinking. The focus on Abu Bakar
Ba'asyir, who remains under arrest in a police hospital in Jakarta, may be
somewhat misleading. He almost certainly has deep knowledge of the JI network and
how it operates, and he almost certainly had prior knowledge of some of the
bombings that have taken place in Indonesia. He is unlikely, however, to have been
III. THE CHRISTMAS EVE BOMBINGS
The Christmas Eve bombings of December 2000 are important to study as an example
of the JI network's reach. While the professionalism involved in making and
delivering the bombs was far lower than the Bali bombing, the coordination was
impressive. The network ensured that bombs were delivered on Christmas Eve to 38
churches or priests in eleven cities: Jakarta, Bekasi, Bandung, Sukabumi, Ciamis,
and Mojokerto, all on Java; Medan, Pematang Siantar, and Pekanbaru on Sumatra;
Batam, the island off the coast of Sumatra close to Singapore; and Mataram on the
island of Lombok, east of Bali. Nineteen people were killed, and some 120 wounded.
The bombs that worked exploded between 8:30 and 10 p.m., with most going off
around 9 p.m. Several were duds, including ten of the eleven delivered in North
Sumatra, and others were defused by police. Bombs exploded prematurely in Bandung
and Ciamis, West Java, killing some of the plotters. The materials used for
explosives were similar across the country. A full list of the bombsites is at
>From interrogation of some of the suspects at the time, police concluded that
young Islamic radicals linked to the movement to establish an Islamic state
(Negara Islam Indonesia or NII) were involved and that the motivation was to
create terror among Christians. An investigation by journalists from the
newsweekly Tempo, however, suggested that the motivation was to take revenge on
Christians for the killing of Muslims in Maluku. Both were partly right, but
there was no hint at the time of a link to Jemaah Islamiyah or the network around
It was only much later, through the interrogations of JI detainees in Singapore
and Malaysia, and of Omar al-Faruq at Bagram Airforce Base (Afghanistan), that the
involvement of JI came to light. It is now believed that plans for the bombings
were finalised in October 2000 in a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, with different JI
operatives assigned parts of the plan: Hambali was primarily responsible for
Jakarta, Yazid Sufaat, a JI leader in Malaysia and now in detention there, for
Medan; Imam Samudra for Batam, and Enjang Bastaman alias Jabir for Bandung.
Faiz bin Abubakar Bafana, a Malaysian JI member who grew up in Jakarta and is now
detained in Singapore, and Hambali reportedly purchased the explosives in Manila
for MR180,000 (about US$47,000).
Bafana, in his interrogation deposition, said that sometime in November 2000, he
met with Hambali who ordered him to go to Pondok Ngruki in Solo. At a small hotel
in Pasar Klewer, Solo, Hambali and Bafana met with Ba'asyir and Zulkifli Marzuki,
the JI secretary, to discuss three things: a regular monthly contribution of
MR4,000 (US.$1,055) that Ba'asyir had requested for the high school associated
with Ngruki; attacks on American interests in Singapore; and plans for the
Christmas Eve bombings.
Faiz Bafana returned to Singapore after the meeting, while Hambali went on to
Jakarta. The key figures, including Hambali, Faiz Bafana, and Imam Samudra, met
again in Kuala Lumpur before Christmas Eve. A police print-out of telephone
traffic shows regular cell phone communication among Hambali, Imam Samudra, and
Jabir in the weeks before Christmas Eve.
One week before the Christmas Eve bombings, a meeting of took place at the Hotel
Alia on Jalan Matraman in Jakarta. Among those attending, according to one person
present, were JI leader Abu Fatih, Agus Dwikarna, Hambali, Zulkifli, and five
representatives of the Darul Islam movement.,. The discussion focused on hatred
of Christians, but, according to one of those present, there was no discussion of
any plan for a nationwide bombing operation. No one was ever arrested for the
Mataram or Pekanbaru bombings. Of the three people arrested in Medan, two were not
involved in the bombings but overheard discussions about them. The third was
tortured into a confession about making the timers for the bombs that may or may
not be true; in any case, he was a minor figure. Jabir, the man who led the
Bandung operation and was a close friend of Hambali's, was killed when the bomb he
was supervising went off prematurely. One of those caught in West Java knew that
Jabir and Hambali were part of a secret political organisation; the others were
brought in through personal ties to local people and almost certainly had no
inkling of the larger network.
ICG took a closer look at the bombings in Sumatra, West Java, and Lombok to see
what additional information could be gleaned about how JI operates.
IV. THE CHRISTMAS EVE BOMBINGS IN MEDAN AND THE ACEH CONNECTION
JI's linkages and affiliations throughout Sumatra may be more complex than
anywhere else in Indonesia, and in Aceh, they intersect with individuals and
organisations long associated with Indonesian intelligence.
One only has to look at a map to see how Sumatra becomes the way station for
people going to and from peninsular Malaysia. Malaysia-bound workers coming by bus
from Java first stop in Pekanbaru, capital of Riau province, then catch local
transportation to Dumai or Tanjung Pinang, from which they cross the Strait of
Malacca to Johor. It is no coincidence that suspected Bali bomber Imam Samudra was
on a Pekanbaru-bound bus when he was arrested on 21 November 2002.
Batam Island, just off the coast of Singapore, is a smuggling haven; it is also
where many Acehnese sell marijuana in exchange for goods, including arms.
Lampung, in southern Sumatra, had a strong Darul Islam movement in the 1970's, led
by Abdul Qadir Baraja, a Pondok Ngruki teacher and close associate of Abu Bakar
Ba'asyir, who was present at the founding congress of Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia.
Way Jepara in Lampung was also the site of what was effectively a satellite school
of Pondok Ngruki that in 1989 became the focus of a bloody clash with the
Indonesian armed forces.
A. ACEH AND JI'S RELATIONSHIP WITH GAM DEFECTORS
And then there is Aceh. Aceh is a source of arms and explosives because of its
separatist conflict, and there is a well-trodden path back and forth from Aceh
through Batam to Singapore and through Medan and Riau to Malaysia for people and
money transfers. More importantly, Aceh is where, in a bizarre way, the interests
of JI and the Indonesian military intersect because both oppose GAM.
Historically, JI's links to Aceh are to the Darul Islam rebellion there
(1953-1962) and to its leader, Teungku (Tgk.) Daud Beureueh, and his associates.
Unlike the leaders of the Darul Islam rebellions in West Java and South Sulawesi,
Beureueh was allowed to return to civilian life after his surrender and remained a
venerated figure in Aceh until his death in 1987.
All Acehnese see Daud Beureueh as a hero. But if GAM regards him as the pioneer of
the Aceh independence movement, JI leaders consider him the champion of an Islamic
state. Members of the Darul Islam movement consider the West Javanese rebel
leader, Sekarmadji Kartosuwirjo, to have been the first imam of the Islamic State
of Indonesia (Negara Islam Indonesia or NII). As he was dying in 1962,
Kartosuwirjo reportedly named Daud Beureueh as NII's second imam. Daud Beureueh,
in turn, named Abu Hasbi Geudong, an Acehnese who had fought alongside him, as his
Geudong's son, Teungku Fauzi Hasbi, a GAM defector regarded as a traitor by the
current GAM leadership, divides his time between Medan, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur
and meets regularly with the Jemaah Islamiyah leadership in Malaysia. He says he
treats Hambali like a son. Most extraordinarily for a man with links to the JI
leadership, he has also been close to the Indonesian army special forces
(Kopassus) since he first surrendered in 1979 to then Kopassus officer First
Lieutenant Syafrie Sjamsuddin - now Major General Sjamsuddin, spokesman for
Indonesian military headquarters.
The links between the Hasbi family and the leaders of Jemaah Islamiyah go back to
the 1970s. Abu Hasbi Geudong and his wife hosted the East Javanese Darul Islam
leader Haji Ismail Pranoto (Hispran) at their home in 1973 or 1974 when the latter
went to Aceh to obtain Daud Beureueh's blessing for a revival of Darul Islam. Daud
Beureueh, as imam, reportedly personally endorsed Hispran's induction of Abu Bakar
Ba'asyir and Abdullah Sungkar into Darul Islam in 1976, although he never met them
That same year, Hasan di Tiro declared the independence of Aceh and created GAM, a
movement that many Darul Islam veterans, and sons of veterans, enthusiastically
joined. Abu Hasbi Geudong, his wife Chadijah, and his two sons, Muchtar and Fauzi,
were among them. After his arrest, Fauzi Hasbi reportedly became an informer for
the army and in 1979 was given an assignment by Soeharto's internal security
agency, Kopkamtib. The Indonesian army intensified operations in Aceh, and in
1980, Muchtar Hasbi, by then GAM's vice-president, was killed by Kopassus troops
in an operation that to this day the GAM leadership believes was made possible by
Fauzi Hasbi's treachery. (Other ICG sources strenuously deny this.)
Hasan di Tiro fled to Singapore, and then to Mozambique. Dr. Husaini Hasan, who
had been Hasan di Tiro's chief of staff, fled to Penang and then to Kuala Lumpur.
Both di Tiro and Husaini Hasan were eventually granted political asylum in Sweden,
but tensions soon broke out between them.
Abu Hasbi Geudong was imprisoned from late 1979 to 1982. In 1983, he took part in
a series of discussions in central Java on how to counter Soeharto's repression of
Islam. Among those in attendance were Fikiruddin (Abu Jjibril), now detained in
Malaysia, and one of the men later convicted in the Borobodur bombings of 1985.
In 1984, after a few months in Sulawesi, he moved to Singapore where he shared a
house with Malik Mahmud, currently prime minister of GAM.
From there he was invited to Sweden to serve as advisor to the exiled leadership
(some say to help reconcile differences that had already emerged between Hasan di
Tiro and Husaini).
But ideological difference quickly emerged. Abu Hasbi Geudong was thoroughly Darul
Islam, and, according to his son, Hasan di Tiro's aims of re-establishing an
Acehnese sultanate went counter to the idea of Republik Islam Aceh (RIA), the
Acehnese Islamic Republic, that the Darul Islam people saw as the Acehnese
component of an Indonesian Islamic State.
In later 1984, after a war of words with Hasan di Tiro, according to Hasbi, Abu
Hasbi Geudong and his wife moved to Malaysia. Their move preceded the flight there
of Abu Bakar Ba'asyir and Abdullah Sungkar, but the four became neighbors in
Negeri Sembilan State in 1985. Sometime in the mid-1990s, the then-governor of
Aceh invited Abu Hasbi to return. He did so, and eventually died in Jakarta in
In 1999, Hasan di Tiro suffered a stroke in Sweden, and Dr. Husaini Hasan tried to
assert his leadership of GAM. The rift between the two came into the open, and Dr.
Husaini established a breakaway faction called Majelis Pemerintahan or MP-GAM.
Since then, the Indonesian government has tried to work with MP-GAM in a variety
of different ways to undermine the "real" GAM loyal to Hasan di Tiro. MP-GAM has
also served as a banner under which a number of Acehnese unhappy with Hasan di
Tiro can gather.
One of these is Teuku (Tk.) Idris Mahmud, a man whose name comes up repeatedly as
a member of JI in Malaysia and was most recently mentioned by Amrozi, the Bali
bombings suspect, as someone who regularly participated in meetings with Hambali
and JI's inner core. Idris, who is in his late 50's, reportedly spent over a year
in the southern Philippines and now lives in Malaysia. The way Indonesian politics
works, Tk. Idris's disaffection with the "real" GAM does not necessarily mean that
he is an army intelligence plant within JI, although GAM has alleged just that.
Several sources told ICG separately, however, that Tk. Idris is a protégé of
another GAM defector named Arjuna. Arjuna is a Libyan-trained GAM fighter from
Aceh Pidie whose entire family was reportedly wiped out by Indonesian security
forces during the army's counterinsurgency operations of the mid-1990s. He
reportedly fled to Malaysia in 1998, joined forces with the Husaini faction there
led by another former GAM member, Don Zulfahri, and began working with Indonesian
officials in 1999. (Zulfahri was gunned down in broad daylight in Kuala Lumpur in
June 2000 in a murder that MP-GAM attributed to di Tiro's people. )
An ICG source in Jakarta said that the Acehnese Golkar notable and former head of
the National Rice Logistics Agency, Bustanil Arifin, began supplying funds to
Arjuna and other former GAM members, to set them up in retail trading businesses
and attract other GAM members away from rebellion.
But despite his ties to the Indonesian government, Fauzi Hasbi has maintained
close ties with Jemaah Islamiyah and its international network. In late 1999, when
Ba'asyir as head of Jemaah Islamiyah called a meeting at the International Islamic
University (Universiti Islam Antarabangsa) in Malaysia to set up the International
Mujahidin Association (Rabitatul Mujahidin or RM), Fauzi Hasbi was invited. He
had a separate meeting in his hotel with Abu Bakar Ba'asyir and the MILF
representative, Abu Huraerah. His son also attended the two subsequent meetings
of RM in Malaysia.
On 15 December 1999, Hasbi met Omar al-Faruq in Aceh, together with a man named
Husein from Saudi Arabia. He did not meet with Osama bin Laden's deputy, Egyptian
doctor Ayman al-Zawaheri, when the latter went to Aceh in June 2000, but spoke
with him on the telephone. In August 2000, Fauzi Hasbi's son represented the Front
Mujahidin Aceh at the first congress of Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia in Yogyakarta,
and Fauzi himself took part in a follow-up meeting in Ciputat, South Jakarta,
three months later. Fauzi Hasbi's telephone number was found on the handphone of
Akim, one of the would-be bombers killed in the premature explosion of the
Christmas Eve bombs in Bandung, and on the telephone of one of the people
convicted in the Christmas Eve bombings in Medan.
Fauzi Hasbi considers himself very close to Agus Dwikarna, and was with him in
Makassar shortly before he left on his ill-fated trip to Mindano in March 2002,
after which Dwikarna was arrested by Philippine police and charged with illegal
possession of explosives.
And yet, Hasbi maintains regular communication with Major General Syafrie
Sjamsuddin to this day and is known to be close to National Intelligence Agency
head Hendropriyono. An army intelligence officer interviewed by ICG had Hasbi's
number programmed into his cell phone and called him in ICG's presence on 22
B. THE MEDAN BOMBINGS
With the depth of bad blood between the "real" GAM and JI's Acehnese connections,
it is curious that the three people convicted of the Christmas Eve bombings in
Medan all have ties to the "real" GAM. Two, Ligadinsyah alias Lingga, and Fadli
alias Akim, were not involved in any meaningful way in the bombings. The third,
Edi Sugiyarto, readily admitted doing work for GAM but also had a long history of
Kopassus ties, and when his wife was asked at his trial to name some his friends,
all those she named were army officers. The three are currently serving sentences
at Tanjung Gusta Prison in Medan.
Edi Sugiarto, whom ICG was able to interview in prison, is a mechanic of mixed
Javanese-Acehnese ethnicity, who once operated an auto and electronics repair shop
or bengkel in Uleeglee, Pidie. The shop became well known as a gathering place for
Kopassus forces throughout the period of intensive counterinsurgency operations
from 1990-1998 when Aceh was effectively declared a combat zone (daerah operasi
militer or DOM). Indonesian army personnel also took their walkie-talkies and
radios there for repair.
Edi, whether voluntarily or under threat, began to use the cover of his repair
work to inform GAM of radio frequenciesso it could monitor military conversations.
He went out of his way to boast to ICG of having been called in by the late
commander of GAM forces, Abdullah Syafi'ie, and asked to repair the radio
equipment at the main GAM base. He was eventually so intimidated - according to
one source by GAM, according to Edi, by the military who sent a letter in the name
of GAM threatening to kill him - that he fled to Medan in 1998 and set up a new
repair shop there.
Prosecutors accused Edi of making the fourteen bombs used in the Christmas Eve
bombings attempts and receiving Rp.2 million (approximately U.S.$200)for each
bomb. In August 2001, he was sentenced to eleven years in prison, minus time
served. Edi told ICG that while he did indeed make remote controls and timers for
GAM bombs in the past, he was a mechanic, not an explosives expert, and could only
make the mechanical parts of bombs. Furthermore, he said, he was so badly tortured
during interrogation that he would have confessed to anything, and in fact, no one
had asked him to make any part of the fourteen bombs, and he had not done so.
According to his lawyer, he was tortured with electric shocks to his genitals and
beatings so severe that he has lost the hearing in one ear.
But the testimony of Ligadinsyah alias Lingga, one of the others convicted, was
damaging. At the time of his arrest, Lingga, now 40 years old, was the deputy
commander of the "real" GAM for Central Aceh (Takengon) and well known to
Lingga testified that a GAM friend of his named Polem - an unhelpful appellation
because it simply means elder brother in Acehnese - from the village of Pasar
Teupin Punti, Samtalirah Aron subdistrict, in Lhokseumawe, North Aceh, had
introduced him to Edi in early December 2000. According to Lingga, Polem, who also
used the aliases Iswandi and Herianto and whose real name never emerged, was
entrusted by GAM to purchase weapons and explosives and was a go-between for GAM
and other parties around Central Aceh, North Aceh, and Pidie. If this is true, it
is possible that Polem could have been the contact with JI, and that no one else
in GAM save Lingga, knew about, let alone sanctioned, the bombings.
Lingga said he had wanted Edi's help in making a remote control device for a bomb
that he wanted to use in Central Aceh. He said that Polem told him later in the
month that he had ordered fourteen timers and remotes from Edi and that Edi had
finished making them all between 18 and 22 December 2000. Polem himself supplied
the explosives and arranged for them to be delivered in cookie tins. (In his
signed interrogation deposition, Edi says that Polem told him that GAM wanted to
blow up churches in Medan and Pekanbaru to cause riots.)
Lingga said that he, Polem, and Edi had met in Akim's house on 5 January 2001, and
Edi explained that there must have been a technical problem since only one bomb
exploded. (Edi in his "confession" told the court that he had deliberately wired
the timers so the bombs would not go off.) There is no indication from the court
documents that Lingga had any involvement with ordering, making, or delivering the
Christmas Eve bombs. He was sentenced to four and half years in prison.
Akim alias Fadli was the third man convicted. Now 43, he was a small-time ganja
(marijuana) and arms dealer, whose relation with Edi, Polim, and Lingga was
strictly business. Polem ordered weapons from Akim for use by GAM in Aceh.
The transaction itself is a fascinating example of underworld commerce. Polem
ordered weapons. Akim gave another man, named Isa, ten kilograms of ganja to sell
in Batam. Isa, who was a regular buyer of Akim's ganja, traded it for a rifle but
was afraid to bring it to Medan, so he and Akim sent a retired soldier to pick it
up. Akim contacted Polem at a hotel in Medan when the ex-soldier came back with
the gun, and everyone gathered at Isa's house to inspect it. Akim got a Rp.300,000
(U.S.$30) commission from Polem on the Rp. 6 million (U.S.$600) deal and gave half
Akim's only connection to the affair was that he overheard a conversation between
Polem and Edi about bombs on 21 December 2000, just before Christmas Eve, at a
restaurant frequented by GAM supporters. He was eventually convicted on charges of
Polem is the key figure of the three, and it is not clear what happened to him.
Lingga acknowledged not only that Polem was close to GAM, but that Polem's
followers (anak buah) had stolen explosives from Exxon Mobil that Lingga was
planning to use to make the bomb for Central Aceh. Edi Sugiarto told ICG that
Polem, who used the name "Herianto" when he made telephone calls but whose KTP
(local identity card) was in the name of Iswandi, was a businessman who owned a
shrimp farm in Kuala Serapu, Tanjung Pura, owned two trucks for longhaul trucking,
and went back and forth between Pekanbaru, Batam, Aceh, and Medan.
Sometime shortly before Indonesia's National Day on 17 August 2000, according to
Edi, Polem asked if Edi could keep some money for him. Edi did not have a bank
account, so he turned the money over to Ramli, an Acehnese who runs a small
restaurant called Arwana, known in Medan as a GAM gathering place. Polem gave him
Rp.120 million (U.S.$12,000), then 40 million (U.S.$4,000), then 600 million
(U.S.$60,000), then another Rp.120 million (U.S.$120,000), all in quick
He said Ramli used some of the first tranche to go to Malaysia. In his testimony
at Edi's trial, Ramli said he had known Edi for ten years in Uleeglee, and it was
Edi who introduced him to Polem in about September/October 2000.
When he turned over the money to Edi, Polem said, "We're going to make a big
surprise" to aid the independence struggle in Aceh, but he did not say what it
As part of its investigation into the Christmas Eve bombings, Tempo magazine
reporters obtained police records of telephone traffic involving some of the key
players in the three months before the bombings. Those records show Polem calling
Edi Sugiarto 21 times and Edi Sugiarto calling Fauzi Hasbi seven times. Edi said
he never talked to Hasbi but Polem had borrowed his telephone. There is also one
call to Fauzi Hasbi from Ramli, but Ramli testified that he had never had any
contact with him. He did, however, say that Polem borrowed his cell phone once
while eating at his restaurant in late December. To the Tempo reporters, Fauzi
Hasby denied any contact with Polem or anyone else linked to the bombings.
What we have, then, is either an excellent example of a cell structure at work,
where no one who made or delivered the bombs had any idea of who gave the orders
for the job, or an operation that was infiltrated from the beginning by military
intelligence. Since Yazid Sufaat has reportedly boasted about his role in the
Medan bombings, and the Ngruki graduate Indrawarman is now being sought in
connection with them, it would be interesting to find out what, if any, linkages
exist between these two and Hasbi. (Hasbi told ICG he had never heard of
Indrawarman and said that Abdullah Sungkar was planning to introduce him to Yazid
in 1999 but died before he could do so.)
The police investigation was poor and never probed the question of who gave the
orders. Police were apparently so interested in having a conviction that they
tortured Edi Sugiarto to get one, suggesting that nothing he said in his
deposition can be taken as reliable. It may have been politically convenient for
both the army and police to have GAM as the local perpetrator but it makes no
sense given the selection of targets or the nation-wide pattern of the bombings.
It is possible that JI, working through Tk. Idris, made contact with someone close
to the "real" GAM for the operational elements: putting the bombs together. It is
also possible that Fauzi Hasbi, despite his close ties with the JI leaders in
Malaysia, was never informed of the specifics of the plan.
But it is hard to avoid the suspicion that someone in the armed forces must have
known that at least the Medan part was in the works and saw the possibility that
it could be blamed on GAM, despite the illogic of GAM's taking part in an attack
on churches. (GAM is a nationalist movement, working for Acehnese independence,
not an Islamic movement, and has never made an issue of other religions.)
ICG believes that if the operational structure of the Medan bombings can be
uncovered, the truth behind the grenade attack on the Malaysian embassy on 27
August 2000 and the 13 September 2000 bombing of the Jakarta Stock Exchange - both
attributed to GAM - may come to light.
C. THE PEKANBARU, RIAU CONNECTION
Five people were killed and nearly 30 injured, four critically, on Christmas Eve
2000 in Pekanbaru when a bomb exploded at a Batak church on Hangtuah Street in
Pekanbaru, the capital of Riau Province. Another bomb was delivered to a church on
Jalan Sidomulyo, but members of the congregation found it and threw it into the
street before it could explode.
The next day, a flyer from a hitherto unknown organisation Tentara Islam Batalyon
Badar (the Badar Battalion of the Islamic Army) took responsibility for the
bombing in the name of someone called Abu Mutafajirat but this was not convincing
(among other things, the flyer said in large letters, "We Take Responsibility For
The Bomb!" ("Bom Tanggung Jawab Kami!") It was treated at the time as the effort
by some third party to divert attention to Islamic groups.
On 28 December 2000, another bomb went off, this time at the Sukajadi HKBP church
on Ahmad Dahlan Street. There were no casualties. No one was ever arrested for the
bombings, and no further information came out until a police report based on
Singaporean sources said that a JI member detained in Singapore had coordinated
Then, on 2 December 2001, another attack in Riau was thwarted when police arrested
Basuki alias Iqbal bin Ngatmo, a 32-year-old man from Jombang, East Java, as he
was carrying a bomb to a church in the town of Pangkalan Kerinci, Pelalawan about
70 kilometers to the east of Pekanbaru. He was brought to trial in early 2002, and
in May, was sentenced to a heavy prison term.
Basuki told the court that he had intended to go to Riau to look for work, but
stopped in Jakarta and met one "Abdurrahman", who talked to him about the
atrocities going on in Poso and Maluku. "Abdurrahman" gave him Rp.500,000
(U.S.$50) to go to Pangkalan Kerinci and meet a man named Ustadz Ahmad. Basuki
took a circuitous route through Lampung, changing buses all the time. He was
arrested before he could meet Ustadz Ahmed, but Riau police uncovered an
interesting detail: "Abdurrahman" turned out to be an alias for Abdul Aziz alias
Imam Samudra, the Bali bomb suspect who reportedly admitted his role in the Batam
Christmas Eve 2000 bombings.
Another odd link to the JI network has emerged in Riau. Reports began to circulate
in May 2002 that a notorious local official, Huzrin Hood, head of Riau Islands
District, had met with Omar al-Faruq, the alleged al-Qaeda operative who later (in
June 2002) was spirited out of Indonesia to Afghanistan where he reportedly is in
U.S. custody. Huzrin Hood is best known as a suspect in a Rp.87.2 billion
(U.S.$8.72 million) corruption case in which he was said to have turned a blind
eye to the illegal sale of sand to Singapore for land reclamation projects, and
for trying to turn his district into a new province.
Al-Faruq reportedly came to Tanjung Pinang, Riau to entrust his wife, Mira
Agustina, daughter of the deceased commander of Laksar Mujahidin in Maluku, to
Huzrin Hood while he went overseas. Mira had been born in Dabu Singkep, near
Tanjung Pinang, but the reason al-Faruq came to Hood may have had more to do with
other connections. Faruq reportedly went to a mosque, Mesjid Sungai Jang, known
for its extremist leanings (a prestigious Indonesian news weekly described it as
"fanatic"). It was also the mosque most frequented by Huzrin Hood, and inquiries
by journalists showed that Hood travelled frequently between Riau and Malaysia,
where he took part in radical Muslim meetings. Huzrin denies ever meeting
al-Faruq, and says no one with that name ever visited the Sungai Jang mosque. Riau
police are investigating the allegations.
But Pekanbaru is worth more attention. As a major commercial transit point for
goods and people going from Indonesia to Malaysia, an intensive investigation into
how the Christmas Eve bombings were planned and carried out there could provide
important clues to JI operations.
V. THE LOMBOK-SUMBAWA CONNECTION
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