SE Asian militant group JI regaining strength: Think-tank

Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir is considered the spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) AFP

Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) does not pose an immediate threat and its leadership has for some years rejected violence to achieve its goal of forming an Islamic state, said the report from Jakarta group the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC).

But it is also building a clandestine military wing in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, and there is a risk a more militant faction could emerge from the wider organisation as it steps up recruitment, it said.

The military part of the organisation is not intended to be used in terror attacks. It is preparation for a potential future confrontation, but those who receive training will likely “be impatient to test their skills”, said the think-tank.

“The current JI could give rise to a more militant splinter that could be more professional in its organisation, training and recruitment than anything Indonesian extremism has to offer today,” said the report from IPAC, headed by veteran security analyst Sidney Jones.

JI was founded by a handful of exiled Indonesian militants in Malaysia in the 1980s, and grew to include cells across Southeast Asia.

The Al Qaeda-linked group was blamed for terror attacks, mainly in Indonesia, that struck Western targets including the 2002 bombing on the resort island of Bali that killed 202 people.

The attacks prompted Indonesian security forces to mount a sustained crackdown that was credited with almost wiping out JI. However since 2010 JI has been regaining strength, and recent arrests of members suggest it should still be considered a danger, said IPAC.

JI’s leaders are strongly opposed to the Islamic State (IS) group, however.

IS has in recent years been a major problem for Indonesia, with hundreds of radicals flocking to fight with the militants. A deadly attack in Jakarta last year was claimed by the group.

Source: AFP/ec

This entry was posted in Indonesia, International Terrorism, Southeast Asia terrorism and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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