Country Report on Terrorism 2019 - Chapter 5 - Jemaah Islamiya (JI)

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 an 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 killed 26 people.

In July 2009, a JI faction claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on 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 during a raid targeting two JI members in Mamasapano on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

In June 2019, Indonesian authorities arrested several JI members, including its emir Para Wijayanto.  Indonesian police said that between 2013 and 2018, under Wijayanto’s leadership, JI sent at least six groups to Syria for military training or to participate in the fighting.

JI did not claim responsibility for any terrorist attacks between 2016 and 2019.

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

Location/Area of Operation:  Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines

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