[Nasional-e] [Nasional] INDONESIA BACKGROUNDER: HOW THE JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH TERRORIST
Sun Dec 15 14:12:02 2002
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BERSATU KITA TEGUH, BERCERAI KITA RUNTUH
HOW THE JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH TERRORIST NETWORK OPERATES
11 December 2002
V. THE LOMBOK-SUMBAWA CONNECTION
The Ngruki network has a long established connection with Lombok and Sumbawa
through Irfan Awwas Suryahardy and his brother, Fikiruddin alias Abu Jibril.
Thelink to Sumbawa is through Abdul Qadir Baraja, a Sumbawa native, who was
convicted of supplying explosives for the 1985 bombing of the Central Javanese
Buddhist monument, Borobodur. It is also through some of the victims of the
Lampung incident of 1989. Dozens of families whose relatives were killed, injured,
or imprisoned after that incident were resettled near Poto Tano, Sumbawa, through
a controversial "reconciliation" program initiated by Hendropriyono in 1999.
Churches in Mataram, the capital of Lombok, were among the targets of the
Christmas Eve 2000 bombings but no one was ever caught. The attacks were a clear
indication of JI presence but the connection was unlikely to be through Abdul
More likely candidates are people with a stronger association with JI in the
region. They include Abdul Jabar, a man currently on Indonesia's most wanted list
for alleged involvement in the bomb blast at the residence of the Philippines
ambassador in Jakarta on 1 August 2000 and for taking part in the Christmas Eve
bombings in Jakarta; a man named Arkam from Sumbawa, who stayed with Amrozi in
East Java; one of the two Umars named by Amrozi as participants in the Bali plot
who was from Sumbawa; and Mohammed Fawazi. The identity card of Fawazi, a
graduate of a pesantren in Wanasaba, East Lombok, was found at the Bali site.
First, however, why not Baraja? The answer is that while Baraja attended the MMI
Congress, he is not a JI member - another indication that while there is some
overlap between the two organisations, they are not identical. Baraja was an early
associate of Sungkar and Ba'asyir and taught at Ngruki. He was the author of a
book on jihad, written in the mid-1970s, and one charge against Ba'asyir in 1982
was that he was undermining the Soeharto-era state ideology, Pancasila, by
distributing that volume.
Baraja was convicted and imprisoned twice for acts of violence, the second time
for thirteen years in connection with the bombing of a newly restored temple
complex at Borobodur. Although born in Sumbawa, Baraja spent most of his
pre-prison adult life in Lampung, and as head of NII for Lampung, was deeply
involved in the activities around the Ngruki satellite pesantren in Way Jepara,
led by an admirer of Abdullah Sungkar, that became the target of a bloody shootout
with the Indonesian army (after, it should be noted, the people at the pesantren
hacked a subdistrict military commander to death).
In 1997, after his release from prison, Baraja established a new organisation
devoted to promoting restoration of the Islamic caliphate. Called Khilafatul
Muslimin, it was based in Teluk Betung, Lampung, with a branch in Baraja's home
town of Taliwong, Sumbawa.
The basic tenets of Baraja's teaching are outlined in a book published in 2001
called A Description of Global Islamic Government. It calls for strict
implementation of Islamic law, including stoning for adultery and, in some
circumstances, amputation of hands for theft, under a government led by
representatives of Allah called Ulil Amri.
Two weeks after the Bali bombing, Baraja and a relative, Shodiq Musawa, who was
also convicted in the Borobodur bombings, were preaching jihad in Taliwong, near
the American-owned Newmont Mine.
The branch of Khilafatul Muslimin in Sumbawa is run by Baraja's brother-in-law,
and according to one source, eleven of its members are employees of Newmont.
Three local sources told ICG that the organisation has conducted military training
on a small island between the Sumbawa port of Poto Tano, near the shrimp farms
funded by Hendropriyono as part of the islah package, and the East Lombok town of
Mamben Lauq, home to suspected JI member Mohammed Fawazi. (Mamben Lauq is a
traditional trading center with strong economic ties to Poto Tano.) Thus, while
Baraja is not a member of JI, the Khilafatul organisation may provide recruits,
protection, or other forms of assistance to would-be bombers.
One of Baraja's associates in Taliwong is also a source of some concern, although
his relationship with JI is not clear. Known as Ustadz Jafar, he has sent students
to study in radical pesantrens in East Lombok.
Sumbawa also provided a safe haven for Abdul Jabar, who underwent training in
Afghanistan and is famous for his role in the Maluku conflict where he is known as
a tukang pembantai (massacrer) and is reputed to have killed more than 100
Christians. He is also reported to be an explosives expert.
Abdul Jabar was born in Jakarta, but his wife is from the remote village of Sanio,
subdistrict Woja, in Dompu, central Sumbawa. The village is surrounded by high,
forested hills, and makes a convenient hiding place; Abdul Jabar has reportedly
stashed weapons there. According to a local source, Abdul Jabar's father-in-law, a
retired soldier named Haji Mansur, is the former village head of Sanio and locally
prominent; his son, Syahrir, is a policeman who tips off Abdul Jabar on army or
police movements in the area. Haji Mansur, Syahrir, and Abdul Jabar himself all
have proteges (anak buah) in the area who can serve as eyes and ears and offer
virtually complete protection.
Police came into the village on 13 October 2002, the day after the Bali bombings,
to arrest Abdul Jabar, who was known to be staying there. One local observer told
ICG that the police botched it, by announcing on arrival, "We are going to shoot
Abdul Jabar dead in his own home if he isn't turned over to us now" - virtually an
invitation to help him escape. The police reportedly then began searching homes
without preliminary investigation, although ICG's source is someone who has no
reason to give the police the benefit of the doubt. They made no effort to
establish a cordon around the village. Their search was fruitless, and they
eventually gave up, but returned on 23 October, after Abdul Jabar's name had been
well-publicised as a possible suspect in the Bali bombings. Thanks to Abdul
Jabar's in-laws, however, the villagers knew the police were coming before they
showed up, and there were no results.
VI. THE WEST JAVA CHRISTMAS EVE BOMBS
Three West Javanese cities - Bandung, Sukabumi, and Ciamis - were hit by the
Christmas Eve bombings, which appear to have been directed by Hambali and a Ngruki
alumnus called Jabir whose real name was Enjang Bastaman. Jabir, about 40 years
old, was from Banjarsari, Ciamis, lived in Malaysia, had trained in Afghanistan,
and was so close to Hambali that when Hambali learned he had been killed, he broke
down in tears.
The operations he directed in West Java are a telling illustration of how a key
figure covered his own tracks and of how the lowest ranks of foot soldiers were
Jabir's contact in Bandung was a man named Iqbal, born Didin Rosman in 1958, a
product of Darul Islam-affiliated pesantrens. Originally from Pasir Ucing, Garut,
West Java, Iqbal had studied at Pesantren Rancadadap in Curug, Garut, then moved
to another pesantren, Awi Hideung. In the late 1970s, he became a trader of palm
sugar and other goods that he sold in the Kiaracondong market in Bandung. Iqbal
reportedly kept up his religious studies with various kyai, including Kyai Saeful
Malik, also known as Ajengan Cilik, a former Darul Islam leader.
He took in students himself, one of whom was Haji Aceng Suheri, who reappears in
the story as the owner of the house where the Christmas Eve bomb went off
prematurely. Iqbal became the religious teacher for Suheri's family until he urged
Haji Aceng to take a second wife, at which point the first Mrs. Suheri threw him
out. In 1995, Jabir, following his return from Afghanistan and Malaysia, briefly
attended the religious study sessions (pengajian) led by Iqbal at Haji Aceng's
house. He then apparently returned to Malaysia.
Sometime in 1998, Jabir came to Iqbal's house in Cicadas, Bandung, together with
Hambali and a Malaysian resident named Umar. (This may be one of the Umars named
by Amrozi as having been involved in the Bali bombings.) Umar was looking for a
wife, and Jabir thought Iqbal might be able to help. Iqbal brought Jabir, Hambali,
and Umar to his stepmother-in-law's house because she ran a pengajian for women,
and one of the participants had an eligible daughter. Iqbal's mother-in-law
introduced the men to the parents and the daughter. The men decided she was
satisfactory, and the wedding was held two days later.
In September 1999, Jabir suddenly showed up at a kind of pesantren/clinic run by a
religious teacher named Usman Mahmud, also known as Ustadz (teacher) Musa, in
Cibatu, Cisaat, near Sukabumi. The clinic catered to drug addicts, gamblers, petty
criminals, and others of similar ilk. Musa understood that Jabir had been a gang
leader at the Bandung bus terminal and wanted to reform him. He offered work, and
Jabir undertook to do odd jobs around the clinic, as well as to instruct some
other patients in martial arts and to teach at the pesantren. Musa and others at
the clinic described Jabir as a man obsessed with Ambon, about the deaths of
Muslims there, and about the danger of "Christianisation" in Indonesia. Jabir left
the clinic, together with a friend from Tasikmalaya named Dedi, who resurfaced as
one of the West Java bombers, in January or February 2000.
Jabir next appears in the area in mid-December 2000 - with Hambali and a man named
Akim, all three Afghanistan veterans, Indonesian nationals, and Malaysia
residents. Akim and Jabir were said by police to be explosives experts.
On 14 December, Jabir went to Iqbal's office at a non-governmental organisation
working with the urban poor but he was out. The next day, at 5:30 a.m., Jabir came
to Iqbal's house with Akim. After some preliminaries, Jabir asked if Iqbal had
attended the MMI Congress in Yogyakarta the previous August, and Iqbal said no.
Jabir asked if he had attended the follow-up to the MMI congress in al-Mahdiyin
mosque in Garut, and Iqbal again said no. They had a long discussion about the
massacre of Muslims in Maluku. Jabir and Akim left after about two hours.
They came back the next morning about the same time and continued their discussion
about Ambon, asking Iqbal's opinion about various incidents there. This time they
requested Iqbal's help in finding a place to meet and said they would need it for
about a month. They also asked his help in finding six people with whom they could
work. Iqbal called Haji Aceng, who made his two-storey house available, and Jabir
came to look at it on the morning of 18 December and pronounced it acceptable.
That evening, Jabir and Akim invited Iqbal back to the Hotel Rinjani in Bandung
where they were staying. Jabir went to his room, Akim stayed in the lounge for
about ten minutes, and then they were joined by Hambali. After prayers, they all
broke the fast together. Hambali eventually invited everyone back to his hotel
room. He talked about how Muslims were being massacred by Christians; how Chechens
were being oppressed but would never be defeated; how a Malaysian woman had
donated MR50,000 (about U.S.$13,000) to them; and how theirs was not a terrorist
movement. Hambali reportedly asked if everything was ready for the Christmas Eve
Iqbal then sought out some of his former students, young men who had attended his
Quranic study sessions (pengajian). On 19 December, Iqbal and Akim went to the
house of Agus Kurniawan, one of those students, and Iqbal introduced Akim as
"Asep" His real name was never used. Two other students, Rony Milyar and Wawan,
another Afghanistan veteran, were also drawn in, and Iqbal and Akim delivered the
three to Haji Aceng's house, apparently on the pretext that a pengajian was going
to be held there. At the time, Rony and Agus were both 21 years old, graduates of
Islamic junior high schools, and unemployed.
Jabir in the meantime, was in Tasikmalaya, West Java on the morning of 19
December, meeting with Dedi Mulyadi, one of the men later convicted in the Ciamis
bombing, and two others, Holis and Yoyo. Jabir may have known Dedi and Holis from
Afghanistan, where they trained from 1990 to 1992, from links to pesantrens in the
Tasikmalaya area (a Darul Islam stronghold), or from Malaysia. Dedi, indeed, is a
typical foot soldier: Born in 1969, he went to Malaysia as a migrant worker in
1991, went almost immediately from there to Afghanistan, returned to Malaysia in
1992, worked there until late 1994, and returned to Tasikmalaya where he worked as
a trader for the next few years. He moved to Purwakarta and lived there until
1999, when he apparently returned to the Tasikmalaya area.
Jabir told Dedi, Yoyo, and Holis of the plan to blow up a number of different
places around Bandung. He said that the aim of the bombings was to destroy and
kill infidels (kafir), Westerners (boule), and Jews. Dedi later told police that
Jabir seemed to have a particular hatred of priests.
Jabir then returned to Haji Aceng Suheri's house and was waiting there when Iqbal
arrived with Agus, Rony and Wawan. Iqbal introduced Jabir as "Ujang" to the three
students, then departed.
There apparently was little contact between the foot soldiers involved in the
Ciamis plot and Jabir's other associates involved in plans for Bandung and
Sukabumi. Jabir left it to Dedi and his two associates to decide which church to
bomb and encouraged them to conduct a survey to find an appropriate target. He
supplied the money, the explosives, and basic information on how to wire up the
bomb. Dedi received Rp.100,000, but said he went along with the plot not because
of the money but because he had been convinced by Jabir's arguments about jihad.
Jabir and Akim exerted more direct supervision over the young men selected by
Iqbal. As soon as Iqbal delivered Rony, Agus and Wawan to Haji Aceng's house,
Akim/Asep told them that they had an important mission to bomb the plaza. It
became clear that "plaza" was a code word for church. When Agus asked why, Akim
replied, "Because our brothers in Ambon and Halmahera are being massacred by
Christians." Akim offered them Rp.300,000 each to take on the job.
After some further discussion, Akim then assigned different targets to each of the
students. Rony was to blow up the church on Gatot Subroto Avenue in Bandung; Agus
was given a church on Ahmad Yani Street; Wawan was given the Buah Batu Church; and
a fourth person, whom Rony and Agus did not know, was given a church on a
university campus. They were told to do a preliminary survey of their sites and
report back. Each received Rp.50,000 for completing the survey.
They finished the survey on the night of 21 December and returned to Haji Aceng's
house. They went home later that night, and returned to join the full team on 23
December. Rony and Agus saw the bomb-making materials for the first time, as well
as the bags they would use to deliver the bombs. It was not until noon the next
day, Christmas Eve, however, that Jabir/Ujang and Akim/Asep began putting them
The Ciamis group, in the meantime, had chosen a church in Pangandaran, near the
state telephone office, to bomb. When the team arrived there on 24 December,
however, Holis went to the church and learned that there would be no Christmas Eve
service. Dedi called for instructions, and Jabir told him to find another target,
saying it could be Chinese, kafir (infidel), or an entertainment place, like a
The three looked for an appropriate alternative, found a Chinese-owned hotel along
the beach, and decided to plant the bomb in a car parked at the hotel. All three
went back to their own hotel. Yoyo took the bomb on his motorcycle, and 500 meters
from where they were all staying, it went off prematurely, killing him. Dedi said
later that Jabir had given strict instructions to carry the bomb horizontally, and
when Yoyo took it on his motorcycle, he may have hit a rut in the road. Holis fled
and remains on a police wanted list today. Dedi was caught and subsequently tried.
The bombs destined for Bandung churches, meanwhile, were to be detonated by cell
phones. Jabir forgot to change the card inside his own phone, and it apparently
went off when someone - likely involved in the plans, perhaps from the Ciamis
group - called his number. Jabir's death was such a disaster for the JI
organisation that Hambali and Zulkifli Marzuki, a Malaysian identified in one
report as the "secretary" of JI, met at the airport in Kuala Lumpur to evaluate
what had gone wrong and ensure that it did not happen again.
(This was not the first JI meeting held at the Kuala Lumpur airport; it may be
that airports were convenient because no one would pay attention to a small group
of men sitting and talking.)
A second meeting to evaluate the Bandung disaster was reportedly held shortly
thereafter at MNZ Associates, a private business, in Kuala Lumpur. Present,
according to one source, were Hambali, Muchlas (Amrozi's elder brother), Abu Bakar
Ba'asyir, Imam Samudra, and Teuku Idris. ICG has no independent corroboration of
The West Java bombings provide some notion of how the JI structure operates. In
this case, Hambali was the overall planner. In his interrogation deposition, Iqbal
described the relationship between Hambali and Jabir as one of master and
disciple. Jabir was always very respectful of Hambali and took care to make sure
he was seated first. Akim appears to have had the same relationship to Jabir. For
the Batam bombings, Imam Samudra may have been on a level with Jabir, a trusted
subordinate, coordinating the bombings on a regional basis. As coordinators, they
supplied the funds and materials to field operatives. It was left to the field
operatives to choose the foot soldiers who actually took the physical risk of
planting or delivering the bombs.
VII. THE SULAWESI AND KALIMANTAN CONNECTION
While neither Sulawesi nor Kalimantan was targeted for the Christmas Eve bombs,
the JI network has extremely strong ties to both. The historical links to South
Sulawesi and the Darul Islam movement were described in an earlier ICG report. An
important link to JI in East Kalimantan is the Hidyatullah pesantren outside
Balikpapan, founded by a supporter of Kahar Muzakkar, the leader of the Darul
Islam rebellion in South Sulawesi in the 1950s.
But as with JI links in Sumatra, geography is as important as history. Sulawesi
and Kalimantan became key transit points for arms and men between Malaysia and
Maluku, or sometimes, between Indonesia and the southern Philippines. An
understanding of the route used by Indonesian migrant workers to Malaysia is
important. Workers going from eastern Indonesia to the eastern Malaysian state of
Sabah usually travel to Makassar or Pare-pare in South Sulawesi, then by boat to
Nunukan at the northern tip of East Kalimantan, and then to Tawao at the southern
tip of Sabah.
Once the conflict in Maluku was underway, the easiest route for Malaysian JI
members, and perhaps for other nationalities as well, was through Sabah to Tawao,
through Nunukan, and then across to Menado in North Sulawesi and on to Ambon. For
arms shipments or other supplies from Mindanao, North Sulawesi was the easiest
entry point for onward shipment to North or Central Maluku. East Kalimantan also
became an important transit point between Malaysia and the Poso conflict in
ICG understands that some JI members are living on Pulau Sebatik, an island
between Nunukan and Tawao that is jointly owned by Malaysia and Indonesia. There
was no opportunity to check the information but geographically, it would make
The Sulawesi connections were critical for JI. People who could help JI's
activities there came to prominence: not just Agus Dwikarna from Makassar, now
detained in the Philippines, but also Abdullah Sungkar's son-in-law, Ustadz Yassin
Since the Bali bombings, much has emerged about Syawal through information leaked
by National Intelligence Agency (Badan Intelijen Negara or BIN) sources to the
Jakarta newsweekly, Tempo, but it is worth restating here because of what it shows
about one JI member's associations. Like most other JI members, Ustadz Syawal has
a host of aliases: Salim Yasin, Abdul Hadi Yasin, Abu Seta, Mahmud, Muhamad
Mubarok, and Muhammad Syawal.
A native of Makassar, he received military training in Camp Chaldun, Afghanistan,
together with Omar al-Faruq and Hambali, probably in the late 1980s or early
1990s. He went to Afghanistan not as part of the group of volunteers sent by
Abdullah Sungkar and the Ngruki exiles in Malaysia but through his ties to another
Muslim organisation, Gerakan Pemuda Islam or GPI, the Islamic Youth Movement. The
association with Hambali, however, appears to have been cemented in Camp Chaldun.
It is not clear where Syawal met Sungkar's daughter or whether he spent time with
her father in Malaysia.
When he returned to Indonesia, he worked with the Kahar Muzakkar's son, Abdul Azis
Kahar Muzakkar, who ran the Makassar "branch" of the Hidyatullah pesantren
mentioned above. He became a driving forces behind the recruitment of Muslim
volunteers for the Poso conflict in Sulawesi, however, after it erupted in full
force in mid-2000. Together with al-Faruq and Aris Munandar, a close associate of
Abu Bakar Ba'asyir's at Pondok, he was accused of having carried out military
training for recruits to Poso and Ambon at the main Hidyatullah pesantren in
Balikpapan. Pesantren leaders have denied the allegation.
He is accused of having been al-Faruq's main contact within Indonesia when the
latter was in the Philippines, and of having helped import weapons from the
southern Philippines through North Sulawesi for use in Poso and Maluku. Syawal
thus has impeccable credentials as a JI member: family ties through marriage to a
stepdaughter of Abdullah Sungkar (as good if not better than a Darul Islam
lineage); service in Afghanistan; commitment to jihad; and well-established
contacts on the ground in Sulawesi with JI-linked groups.
VIII. JIHAD IN POSO AND MALUKU
If they differed on other issues, JI and the MMI moderates were in total agreement
on means and ends in Maluku and Poso. The Laskar Mujahidin, the armed forces of
the Ngruki network, totalled at its height in late 1999 and early 2000 some 500
men - much smaller but better-trained than the Laskar Jihad troops, with whom they
did not cooperate and sometimes clashed. (A particularly virulent enmity existed
between Fikiruddin alias Abu Jibril of Laskar Mujahdin and and Ja'far Umar Thalib
of Laskar Jihad, and the two nearly came to blows three times, once in the Middle
East, once in Afghanistan, and once in Ambon, according to an ICG source.) The
commander of Laskar Mujahidin forces through October 2000 when he was killed in
Saparua, was Haris Fadillah alias Abu Dzar, a former Darul Islam figure from
Bogor, West Java, but perhaps better known now as Omar al-Faruq's father-in-law.
He was succeeded after a leadership void of a few months by Aryanto Aris (also
seen as Haris), a man from Magelang, East Java. By November 2001, Aryanto Aris was
back in Java, taking part in the bombing of a church in North Jakarta. It is
clear that Ambon served as a military training ground for JI recruits from across
the region, much as Afghanistan and the Southern Philippines had for an earlier
A. LASKAR MUJAHIDIN IN MALUKU
In an effort to understand how the Laskar Mujahidin worked, ICG interviewed an
Ambon veteran whose brother and nephew had also been fighters there. He said an
initial contingent of 50 recruits arrived in Ambon in February 1999, about a month
after the first wave of violence. Almost all were from Makassar or were Ambonese
who had studied there, and many leaders were "alumni Moro", that is, had previous
experience in the southern Philippines. They called themselves Laskar Jundullah,
not Laskar Mujahidin, although their arrival seems to have preceded establishment
of the Laskar Jundullah that Agus Dwikarna headed.
In the beginning, the ICG source said, they had no modern weapons, but focused on
setting up posts of five to ten people, mostly along the north coast, beginning in
Hitu and spreading to Mamala, Morela and several other villages. Within a month,
they had received automatic weapons and were making daily attacks on Christian
villages in the area, usually together with a local force called Laskar Hitu.
By July 1999, the ranks of the mujahidin forces had reached 500 in central Maluku
(that is, Ambon, Ceram, Saparua and Haruku) but they never exceeded that total.
Recruits served between six months to a year. The mujahidin headquarters was in
Air Kuning, a hilly and forested area where the alumni Moro could instruct
recruits in guerrilla tactics. One main difference with Laskar Jihad, indeed, was
Laskar Mujahidin's preference for guerrilla warfare, with formations of about a
dozen men carrying out hit-and-run attacks. The aim was frequently to destroy
churches or target priests, Christian business people, or other Christian leaders,
more than to secure ground as Laskar Jihad was trying to do. The source remembered
a hit list of 50 people, 47 of whom were priests.
After July 1999, Laskar Mujahidin had access to serious arms, such as mortars,
grenades, AK-47s, Stiger 5s, and anti-personnel mines. Almost none were obtained
in Maluku but rather were packed in paralon (a kind of plastic casing) and
frequently brought in by ship from Surabaya. As the vessel approached Ambon
harbor, the paralons would be dropped overboard, then picked up by waiting fishing
The Ambon veteran said that a reason Laskar Mujahidin posts were set up on Buru
and Seram (rice-growing areas) was to have a cover for import of fertiliser used
in bomb making.
Laskar Mujahidin, like Laskar Jihad, had links to the army in Maluku but they were
mostly through soldiers from the Kulur ethnic group in Saparua. Members of this
ethnic group, the source said, were particularly prominent in battalions 731, 732
and 733 of the Indonesian army. Many soldiers were willing to rent out their guns
for a daily fee of Rp.2.5 million. (about U.S.$250).
Laskar Mujahidin also had a strong presence in North Maluku but the ICG source did
not know how many people were involved.
B. LASKAR JUNDULLAH IN POSO
In the other major conflict area, Poso, the mujahidin forces were known as Laskar
Jundullah, but it becomes confusing because many Islamic groups operating out of
Central Java, Maluku, and Sulawesi called themselves by the same name, which means
"army of Allah." Groups that identified themselves as Laskar Jundullah, for
example, appeared in Poso in July and August 2000, after the massacre of some 200
Muslims at the Wali Songo Pesantren in Poso on 3 June 2000.
The best-known of the Laskar Jundullahs was created in September 2000 as the
military wing of KPPSI, the Preparatory Committee for Upholding Islamic Law, under
the command of Agus Dwikarna, now detained in the Philippines as a JI member. It
was originally conceived of as a religious police that would enforce Islamic law
among KPPSI members. In setting up Laskar Jundullah, Dwikarna worked closely with
Syawal, the JI member with close ties to the southern Philippines, and with Tamsil
Linrung, the man later arrested with Dwikarna in the Philippines in March 2002.
Laskar Jundullah, while officially based in Makassar, set up its military
headquarters in Pendolo, Pamona Selatan, Poso. Its commander there was reportedly
Amno Dai, a native of the area who had been a follower of Kahar Muzakkar. He began
to recruit former members of Kahar Muzakkar's Darul Islam rebellion, and those men
joined with Laskar Mujahidin forces recruited by Pondok Ngruki.
The Laskar Jundullah forces reportedly drew on three networks for their recruits.
The first was Darul Islam, and in particular, the followers of Sanusi Daris, Kahar
Muzakkar's Defense Minister, who died in Sabah in 1988. The recruits associated
with Darul Islam would reportedly often go to the Hidayatullah pesantren in
Balikpapan before proceeding on to Poso, and many teachers and students from that
pesantren reportedly joined Laskar Jundullah themselves.
The second network was that of the hardline faction of the Indonesian Muslim
Students organization (Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam or HMI), known as HMI-MPO. Tamsil
Linrung and Agus Dwikarna both had HMI-MPO backgrounds, and many other HMI-MPO
members from South Sulawesi joined the jihad in Poso.
The third network consisted of local Muslims from the Poso area. Among others,
these included men from the Komite Perjuangan Muslim Poso (Committee for the
Islamic Struggle in Poso) under the command of Adnan Arsal, based in Poso city.
Arsal is one of the signers of the December 2001 peace pact for Poso, known as the
The Laskar Mujahidin and Laskar Jundullah forces had both guerrilla training and
the capacity for rapid reaction. In Poso, they may have outnumbered Laskar Jihad
forces, with which their relations were poor. Laskar Jihad only arrived in Poso in
August 2001, long after mujahidin forces were well-established.
ICG has received conflicting reports as to the continued presence of Laskar
Mujahidin in Maluku and Poso. Laskar Jihad sources in Yogyakarta claim that even
before the dissolution of their organisation in early October 2002, Laskar
Mujahidin had already left, chased out by Laskar Jihad, which was numerically much
stronger. MMI sources in Solo, however, report that the mujahidin are still in
place, if not particularly active.
According to one young man close to those who took part in the training camp in
Pandeglang, run by Bali bombing suspect Imam Samudra, in Banten in 2001,
recruitment for Poso and Ambon took place as follows. A member of Samudra's group
would strike up a conversation with students from a local state-run Islamic high
school (madrasah aliyah negeri). These high schools can be located within a
pesantren or religious boarding school, or they can be separate structures. The
students would be invited to come to a meeting where the discussion leader showed
video CDs about the war in Ambon and Poso, made by KOMPAK, the
mujahidin-affiliated organisation. The videos inevitably produced outrage from the
viewers at the brutality and inhumanity of the Christian side.
The viewers were then invited back for religious study sessions, where a small
number of people sat around in a circle (halaqah) and studied the main precepts of
Sungkar's teaching - faith, hijrah, and jihad - with a strong Wahabi orientation.
Students who went through the training learned formulaic definitions, such as that
what Muslims had to fear most was a government enslaved to infidels. The situation
in the world today, it was repeatedly stressed, was like the darkness and
ignorance (jahiliyah) prevailing in Mecca before Islam was generally accepted and
when Muslims were being persecuted. The group leaders stressed the need to rid the
faith of syirik or idolatrous practices. But the most important emphasis was on
After about four months in the study group, the students would be told that jihad
was not just a concept but something that had to be put into practice, and they
were invited to join the struggle. One of those who accepted said he was surprised
when the instructor then introduced a friend from Malaysia and produced firearms
for the training. At this stage, the proportion of religious training fell to
about 30 per cent, while 70 per cent was devoted to military training. The
trainees had to start from scratch, learning how to hold a rifle, aim and fire.
They were also instructed in self-defence and how to use knives and machetes.
The instructors rented a house far from the main road for the training. In this
case, it was in Cimalati, Pasir Eurih, Saketi, a heavily wooded area in
Pandeglang, Banten but there was anotherr in Malimping, Banten, and at least one
in West Java, in Ciseeng, Bogor. The road leading to the house in Saketi was
rarely used by cars or motorcycles-for-hire, and the houses in the area were
relatively far apart. The front of the house was turned into a kind of a repair
shop, both for camouflage purposes, so no one passing would suspect that there was
military training going on in the back, amidst a hectare of palm trees and banana
The workshop also served as a place where the trainees learned to make bombs. When
they were considered ready, they were sent to Poso or Ambon as members of Laskar
Mujahidin or related groups. There was never any overlap with Laskar Jihad.
Halaqah study groups, without the military training, were started in at least five
other areas around Banten alone: Menes, Ciruas, Kasemen, Benggala, and Kramatwatu.
Almost all drew on young men from Islamic high schools. Such schools within
pesantrens run by Muslim leaders (kyai) with a history of Darul Islam involvement
were a particularly rich recruiting ground.
D. IMAM SAMUDRA'S HALAQAH
Abdul Aziz alias Imam Samudra took part in such a halaqah. Aziz, who was arrested
on 21 November as a key suspect in the Bali bombings, was an honors graduate of
the state Islamic high school (Madrasah Aliyah Negeri or MAN I) in Serang, Banten.
While still a student, he became very close to one of his teachers, Kyai Saleh
As'ad, who had been a Darul Islam leader in Banten in the 1970s.
Abdul Aziz reportedly was radicalised under Saleh As'ad's tutelage, and became
convinced of the justness of the struggle for an Islamic state. In 1988, two years
before he graduated from high school, he was chosen as the head of a Banten-wide
madrasah association called HOSMA (Himpunan Osis Madrasah Aliah). He used this
association to promote Darul Islam ideas among students, through halaqah study
groups. He reportedly was particularly effective in recruiting new cadres through
a pengajian he started at the Darul Ilmi MAN, close to his own school in Serang.
Almost all the young men that Abdul Aziz apparently recruited as foot soldiers for
Bali more than a decade later were products of the MAN schools. A quick look at
their biographies shows the ties among them.
Abdul Rauf alias Sam bin Jahruddin was born in Cipodoh, Tangerang, West Java, in
1981. Abdul Aziz met Rauf in 2001 in Bandung through a mutual friend. Rauf at the
time was taking courses in journalism but he had attended Pondok Ngruki from 1992
to 1997. He then continued his education from 1997 to 2000 at the Madrasah Aliyah
Darul Ilmi, Abdul Aziz's old recruiting ground. When he met Abdul Aziz, he was
reportedly much taken with the latter's arguments about the need for jihad in
Maluku where so many Muslims had been killed. As a result, after he finished his
journalism course, Rauf returned to Banten, to the subdistrict (kecamatan)
Malimping to devote himself to jihad. There he persuaded Yudi, an old friend from
Ngruki, to follow Abdul Aziz's teachings.
Yudi alias Andri was born in the village of Sukamanah, Malimping, in 1980.After
going to a state elementary school, Yudi went to Pondok Ngruki from 1992-1995.
Like Abdul Rauf, he went on to Madrasah Darul Ilmi and became the head of the
student association there (Ikatan Santri Daar El-Ilmi or ISDI). He also became
fluent in Arabic. After graduating, he returned to his village to help his parents
sell sandals in the local market. He also started a majelis taklim for local
youth, a regularly-scheduled discussion of religious issues open to the general
After Abdul Rauf introduced Yudi to Abdul Aziz, the three started a new halaqah
that effectively became a new JI cell. Yudi brought in several of his majelis
taklim students. They included Agus Hidayat, Iqbal, and Amin. At some stage, but
the dates are not clear, Yudi, Abdul Rauf, and Amin all reportedly went to
Mindanao with Abdul Aziz's assistance.
Agus Hidayat, another product of the state Islamic school system in Banten - he
graduated from MAN in Malimping in 2000 - was arrested on 25 November 2002 in
connection with the robbery of a goldsmith's shop in Serang, Banten. The proceeds
of that robbery, in which Abdul Rauf and Yudi were also involved, were allegedly
used to finance the Bali operation. Because the victims of the robbery were
non-Muslims (Chinese), the robbery was justified as fa'i, legitimate war booty in
the context of jihad.
Iqbal, alias Armasan alias Lacong, the alleged suicide bomber in Bali, was born in
Sukamana, Malimping, the same village as Yudi, in 1980. He finished the second
year of junior high school, then was forced to drop out because his family could
not pay the school fees. He became a farmer, but because he was Yudi's neighbor,
he was drawn into the halaqah of Yudi and Abdul Rauf.
The cell of Agus Hidayat, Yudi, Abdul Rauf, and Iqbal, went into action on 22
August 2002 when the robbery of the goldsmith's shop took place. Rauf set off a
diversionary firecracker about 100 meters away from the shop. Yudi entered the
store with a gun and held up the owner. Iqbal, together with Yudi and one other
man, took the gold. Agus Hidayat and Amin stood guard outside and had motorcycles
waiting to make the getaway.
Abdul Aziz (Imam Samudra) was the brains of the operation, but did not take part
directly. He did, however, supply the weapons. Several firearms, perhaps including
those used in the robbery, were found in Agus's possession when he was arrested,
including an FN pistol, a Colt-38, and ammunition produced by the Indonesian army
munitions factory, PT Pindad. Just as the West Java Christmas Eve foot soldiers
only met Jabir shortly before the target date, Agus only met Abdul Aziz in Solo,
Central Java, one week before the robbery. Apparently because they were both from
Banten, however, they quickly became close.
A little over a month before the Bali bombings, Abdul Rauf brought three more men
into the operation, although they do not appear to have been trusted members of
the halaqah. Maybe not coincidentally, none of them shared the same school ties as
Yudi, Rauf, and Abdul Aziz..
Aprianto, Pujata, and Ikhwan Fauzi were all from the Kesemen, Serang area of
Banten, and their families, like Abdul Aziz's, had been close to the Persatuan
Islam (PERSIS), a long-established Muslim organisation with a Wahabi orientation.
All were arrested after the Bali bombs and charged with hiding some of the
bomb-making materials for Abdul Rauf. None of the three reportedly ever met Abdul
Aziz, but at a designated time, they handed over the materials to a fourth man,
Faturrahman, who was a graduate of Abdul Aziz's alma mater, the MAN Islamic high
school in Serang.
Many of the original halaqah members took part in the Bali operation. Agus
Hidayat, together with Abdul Aziz, reportedly did a survey of the targets in Bali.
Yudi prepared the bomb together with Abdul Rauf. Iqbal was the person charged with
delivering it. The members of the religious study circle in Banten had become
E. MALUKU'S IMPORTANCE TO THE JI NETWORK
Just as experience in Afghanistan served to bind an older generation of the JI
network together, time in Maluku served the same purpose for a younger generation.
Information from some of those convicted in earlier JI bombings provides insight
into how this worked.
Taufik Abdul Halim alias Dani, 26, is a Malaysian convicted for his role in the
August 2001 Atrium Mall bombing in Jakarta, another JI operation. Taufik was born
in Muar Johor, Malaysia. According to his court testimony, he studied in religious
schools around Pakistan - in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Islamabad - from 1993
to 1996, the same years that Fatur Rahman al-Ghozi was in Lahore. It is not known
if they met. Taufik was imprisoned briefly under the Internal Security Act after
he returned to Malaysia. The Malaysian government later said that Taufik, whom
they accused of being a member of Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia, an organisation
alleged to be an affiliate of JI, was in Afghanistan in 1994-1995. Taufik's
brother, Zulkifli bin Abdul Hir, is in detention as a JI member in Malaysia and is
accused of killing a Christian member of parliament, Dr. Joe Fernandez.
In June 2000, according to his interrogation testimony, Taufik met nine other
Malaysian recruits at the Kuala Lumpur airport. These included three men from
Trengganu, two from Selangor, two from Kuala Lumpur, one from Pahang, and one from
northern Malaysia. Taufik, with an architecture degree, was the only one with an
advanced education. The group crossed to Sabah (Malaysian Borneo), travelled
overland to Tawao, a seedy port on the southern tip of the state, crossed by boat
to Nunukan, East Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) - without passports - then
continued to Menado, North Sulawesi by boat. They then flew to Ternate in northern
After some three months in Ternate, which to their disappointment was quiet, they
went on to Ambon. In court, Taufik would say only that he and his colleagues
helped defend villages there; it would be interesting to know whether his
contingent was involved in the battle in Siri-Sori when Abu Dzar was killed. In
April 2001, six of the original group returned to Malaysia and the others took a
boat to Surabaya, then travelled to Jakarta by bus.
A young man who was to take part in the Atrium bombing with Taufik met him at the
bus station, then took him to stay with another Maluku veteran, Eddy or Dedi
Setiono alias Abbas alias Usman. Abbas was from Bogor originally, had lived for
many years in Malaysia, and made his living selling mineral water in Jakarta. Dedi
had been with Hambali in Afghanistan in 1987 and met him again in South Jakarta in
October 2000 to plan the Christmas Eve bombings. After his "success" as field
commander for Jakarta of the latter operation, Abbas worked with Imam Samudra to
coordinate the Atrium Mall bombing in early August 2001. Taufik was an expendable
The rationale for the Atrium bombing was retaliation for the attacks on Muslims in
Ambon, since a congregation that was reputed to be funding the Christian side met
for services on the second floor of the mall. The bomb went off prematurely, and
Taufik lost part of his leg.
After both he and Taufik were caught, Abbas told his interrogators of the training
camp in Pandeglang, Banten, described above, where recruits for Ambon were being
trained. Police raided the camp in September 2001 and captured thirteen people,
mostly young men from the Banten area. They also recovered six revolvers, seven FN
pistols, and 400 rounds of ammunition. One camp leader who escaped was a
38-year-old man named Ibrahim from Trengganu, Malaysia, who had served two years
The investigation into the Bali bombings is beginning to uncover some of the ways
in which Jemaah Islamiyah leaders were able to use a range of networks and
associations in Indonesia to wage jihad in accordance with Abdullah Sungkar's
teachings. The investigation is far from over but one can see a mix of family
ties, old school ties (to Pondok Ngruki or its Malaysian counterpart, Pesantren
Luqmanul Hakiem), and Darul Islam linkages at play. The reach of JI through these
networks may be more extensive than previously thought, even though the number of
senior JI leaders appears to be very small.
When the results of the Bali bombings are considered, together with an examination
of previous JI operations such as the Christmas Eve bombings, several policy
- Investigations into all previous JI operations need to be reopened, with
the highly effective combination of international investigators working alongside
their Indonesian counterparts, under Indonesian direction.
If the Christmas Eve bombing investigations are any indication, investigations at
the time were poor. Police often used torture to extract confessions that were
highly unreliable as a result but were then used to convict other suspects.
Little, if any, coordination took place among the investigations into the bombings
of different cities across the countries, so that common threads could be exposed
and examined. Important leads were not pursued.
There is some indication that the investigations are being reopened, but if this
amounts to re-interviewing convicted prisoners, as seems to be the case in Medan,
the results will be inconclusive, since none of those convicted was a major
player, and two were probably not involved at all.
- Intelligence resources need to be strengthened but the resources need to
go to the police, not to the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) and not to army
There is no question that BIN has done some important legwork on the
investigations that significantly helped break open the Bali case, and it is using
the Bali bombingsto try to significantly increase its resources. According to one
press report, a draft presidential instruction is being prepared to create new
intelligence structures, one at the national level and one at the provincial and
The first would coordinate intelligence agencies belonging to the Attorney
General's Office, police, customs, immigration, relevant units from each branch of
the armed forces, and BIN. The second would do the same but at a sub-national
level. All would be coordinated by the head of BIN, A.M. Hendropriyono.
Coordination is important, and there is no question that it is not now taking
place. But creating a new structure would put the cart before the horse. Major
issues need to be resolved first, such as the exact division of responsibility
between the police and the army on internal security matters. No amount of
coordination on paper is going to force an army officer to turn over information
to the police, or vice versa, when each force sees the other as determined to
undermine its authority. One provincial army intelligence officer told ICG, "We're
sitting on all this information, and no one's asking for it". He suggested that
unless and until the post-Soeharto tendency to leave investigations to the police
was reversed, the information would stay unused.
At the same time, the professional pride of the police is at an all-time high with
the Bali successes. This may be the first time that police are taking pride across
the country as a force getting results as a result of dogged pursuit of leads,
rather than money or coercion. If ever there were a moment for strengthening
civilian law enforcement agencies, it is now, but it has to be done with strong
civilian oversight mechanisms.
One intelligence officer in eastern Indonesia told ICG he had no money to pay
informants, and even though he strongly suspected a military training camp was in
operation not far from his office, he had no funds to pay anyone to try and find
out what was going on. Lack of resources for intelligence gathering is a serious
issue, particularly in remote areas, but without adequate controls, extra
resources are going to be consumed by corruption.
- The government needs to get far more serious than it has about controlling
leakage of weapons, ammunition, and explosives from Indonesian military depots.
Much of the weaponry and explosives used by JI was purchased abroad but not all of
it, and trial documents, not only from the Christmas Eve bombings but also from
other bombings such as that of the Jakarta Stock Exchange, show how the arms trade
is flourishing in Bandung and Batam. The Indonesian government might want to
consider setting up a commission with advice or input from some of the
international investigators working on the Bali case about how this trade can best
- A major unanswered question remains what happens after Maluku and Poso?
It would be a valuable contribution to the conflict resolution efforts in both
areas to understand exactly what role groups like the Laskar Mujahidin have played
and what havoc they can continue to wreak.
Jakarta/Brussels, 11 December 2002
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