Country Report on Terrorism 2018 - Chapter 5 - Jemaah Islamiya

Aka Jemaa Islamiyah; Jema’a Islamiyah; Jemaa Islamiyya; Jema’a Islamiyya; Jemaa Islamiyyah; Jema’a Islamiyyah; Jemaah Islamiah; Jemaah Islamiyah; Jema’ah Islamiyah; Jemaah Islamiyyah; Jema’ah Islamiyyah; JI.

Description: Designated as a FTO on October 23, 2002, Jemaah Islamiya (JI) is a Southeast Asia-based terrorist group co-founded by Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir. The group seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate in the region. More than 400 JI operatives have been captured or killed since 2002, including operations chief and al-Qa’ida associate Hambali and, in January 2015, bomb-maker Zulfiki bin Hir (aka Marwan).

Activities: Significant JI attacks include the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed more than 200 people, among them seven U.S. citizens; the August 2003 bombing of the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta; the September 2004 bombing outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta; and the October 2005 suicide bombing in Bali, which left 26 dead.

In July 2009, a JI faction led by Noordin Mohamed Top claimed responsibility for suicide attacks at the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta that killed seven people and injured more than 50, including seven U.S. citizens.

In January 2015, 44 policemen and three civilians were killed when a police counterterrorism squad was ambushed while conducting a raid in Mamasapano on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, in an attempt to arrest two JI members. In October 2015, two senior JI leaders – Zarkashi and JI military leader Abu Dujana – were released from prison after serving seven years each in Indonesian jails. There were no reported attacks by JI in 2016, 2017, or 2018.

Strength: Estimates of JI membership vary from 500 to several thousand members.

Location/Area of Operation: In its earlier years, JI focused its operations and presence in Indonesia, and it is beginning to regain its strength there. The group also has carried out attacks in Malaysia and the Philippines.

Funding and External Aid: JI fundraises through membership donations and criminal and business activities. It has received financial, ideological, and logistical support from Middle Eastern contacts and illegitimate charities and organizations.