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Appendix D – Statement of Reasons – Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)

(Also known as: Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah, Jamaah Islamiyah, Jama’ah Islamiyah, Jemaa Islamiya, Jema’a Islamiya, Jemaa Islamiyah, Jema’a Islamiyya, Jemaa Islamiyya, Jemaa Islamiyyah, Jemaah Islamiah, Jemaah Islamiya, Jeemah Islamiyah, Jema’ah Islamiyah, Jemaah Islamiyyah, Jema’ah Islamiyyah)

The following information is based on publicly available details about Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). To the Australian Government’s knowledge, these details are accurate and reliable and have been corroborated by reliable and credible classified information.

Basis for listing a terrorist organisation

Division 102 of the Criminal Code provides that for an organisation to be listed as a terrorist organisation, the Attorney-General must be satisfied on reasonable grounds that the organisation:

(a)     is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not a terrorist act has occurred or will occur); or

(b)    advocates the doing of a terrorist act (whether or not a terrorist act has occurred or will occur).

Details of the organisation


Jemaah Islamiyah is a Salafi jihadist group, inspired by the same ideology as al‑Qa’ida (AQ), which regards the Indonesian government, along with other nations in the region, to be illegitimate. JI seeks to revive a pure form of Islam and establish a pan-Islamic state in Southeast Asia, governed by the tenets of Sharia (Islamic law).

Founded in Malaysia on 1 January 1993 by Indonesian Islamic clerics Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, JI represents an evolutionary development of the Indonesian Islamic movement, Darul Islam (DI), which fought a violent insurgency to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia in the 1950s and 1960s. JI’s goals are essentially those of DI, but with a regional perspective.

JI’s charter and operating manual, the “General Guide for the Struggle of Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyah” (PUPJI), outlines the religious principles and administrative aspects underlining JI’s primary objectives. These entail establishing a solid support base of followers and then through armed struggle – first creating an Islamic state in Indonesia followed by a pan-Islamic Caliphate incorporating Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and southern Philippines and ultimately creating a global theocratic Islamic state.


The current JI leadership remains anti-Western in orientation, refusing to denounce violent jihad as a means of achieving its desired objectives and willing to conduct attacks against local sectarian targets. JI has no publicly acknowledged leader, but has a well-ordered succession plan, in the event of the arrest of the incumbent Emir. Since the arrest of JI Emir Zarkasih in June 2007, no new Emir has been identified publicly. However, two possible candidates have emerged: Para Wijayanto and Hadi Surya.

JI remains operationally and organisationally distinct from other regional extremist groups. Despite counter terrorism efforts by regional authorities, JI remains a functional paramilitary organisation, supportive of the use of violence whenever strategically opportune.

JI currently embodies two opposing factions – a group which advocates fast tracking the Islamic Caliphate through sustained violence and a ‘traditionalist’ faction that temporarily eschews attacks, preferring to focus on the long term grass roots consolidation and rebuilding of its support networks.


JI’s membership is not known publicly and is estimated to range between 900 and several thousand members, mostly concentrated in Java but spread throughout Indonesia and neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Recruitment and funding

Recent JI activity has an emphasis on Dakwah (Islamic outreach) and publishing – in order to prepare a mujahidin support base for future extremist activity. JI’s 35 or so schools continue to produce a new generation of potential mujahideen who will intermarry, set up businesses together and be indoctrinated in ideology sympathetic to JI’s long-term Islamist goals.

Most of JI’s funding is derived from member contributions, Islamic publishing, affiliated charity and legitimate business activities, robbery and direct transfers from Middle-East based terrorist financiers in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Terrorist activity of the organisation

Directly or indirectly engaged in the doing of terrorist acts

Elements of JI have conducted numerous attacks targeting sectarian and foreign interests in Indonesia, particularly anti-Christian violence in Sulawesi, Maluku and Sumatra. JI targeted the Philippines Ambassador in Jakarta in 2000 and also conducted sectarian attacks across Indonesia over the 2000/2001 Christmas and New Year period. JI’s first successful anti-Western attack was the Bali bombings of October 2002 which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians. This was followed by the 2003 JW Marriot Hotel bombing and the 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. The second Bali bombing, which took place in 2005, killed four Australians.

Directly or indirectly preparing, planning or assisting in the doing of terrorist acts

JI has been responsible for preparing, planning or assisting in the doing of terrorist attacks against a range of targets, but particularly Christian, Western and Indonesian government interests. Those previously subjected to JI attacks include hotels, bars, diplomatic premises, transport and military facilities and churches.

Since its re-listing by the Australia Government as a terrorist organisation on 9 August 2008, networks with familial and social links to JI have conducted attacks specifically targeting Western interests. Information and materiel seized in operations against JI linked individuals since 2008 demonstrate JI retains the capability and intent to use violence to achieve its goals - and networks linked to JI continue to plan to conduct terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia.

Directly or indirectly fostering the doing of terrorist acts or advocating the doing of terrorist acts

JI remains focussed on Dakwah (Islamic outreach) and its publishing operations to promote an extreme interpretation of Islam. JI’s network of 35 or so religious schools continually works to inculcate future generations of Indonesian youths in this extreme form of Islam designed to develop a support base in Indonesia for an Islamic State under Islamic Law, and legitimatise the use of violence to achieve their objectives. 


On the basis of the above information, ASIO assesses that JI is continuing to directly and indirectly engage in, preparing, planning, assisting in, fostering and advocating the doing of terrorist acts involving threats to human life and serious damage to property.  

In the course of pursuing its objective of creating an Islamic state under Sharia (Islamic law) in Indonesia and a pan-Islamic Caliphate in South East Asia, JI is known to have engaged in acts that:  

The above acts include actions which have been done or threatened with the intention of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause and with the intention of coercing or influencing by intimidation, the Government and people of Indonesia which they consider apostate. The actions or threatened actions which JI are assessed to be involved in would, if successfully completed, cause serious physical harm and death to persons and serious damage to property.

Other relevant information

Links to other terrorist groups or networks

Having a common heritage in DI has facilitated close links between JI and other violent extremist groups in Indonesia. These groups, including DI remnants, Front Pembela Islam (FPI), Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI), KOMPAK (Crisis Action Committee), and Laskar Jundullah, provide recruits and support networks for JI activity. JI continues to recruit covertly from its network of pesantren (Islamic boarding schools), religious study groups and through personal contacts.

JI’s domestic and regional extremist links were reinforced by the simultaneous presence of JI and non-JI Southeast Asian militants in al-Qa’ida training camps in the late 1980s and early 1990s JI’s ‘Afghan Alumni’ cultivated organisational and personal relationships with foreign extremist groups, such as al-Qaida, while training and fighting in Afghanistan. Links were also forged with Southeast Asian extremist groups, laying the foundation for the current JI collaboration with militant groups in the Philippines. JI has linkages to the Abu Sayyaf Group – particularly through fugitive JI operative Umar Patek and Dulmatin, who was recently killed by Indonesian Security forces – and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who still provide refuge to JI personnel despite ongoing MILF/Philippines Government peace negotiations.

Proscription by the UN and other countries

JI is listed in the United Nation’s 1267 Committee’s consolidated list and as a proscribed terrorist organisation by the governments of Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

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