Extreme Islamic Terrorism.
This article is a research article about Extremist Islam Terrorism or commonly known as the Jemaah Islamiyah. The article focuses on the background of the Jemaah Islamiyah, their origin and organization and how they are involved in the global terror attacks. The article also focuses on the founders and members of the Jemaah Islamiyah and the terror attacks that they have been linked to over the years. Also, the article will include the methods that have been put in place by the terror victim countries such as the United States of America in order to stop the terror attacks by such organized groups such as the Jemaah Islamiyah.
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Extreme Islamic Terrorism has over the years been felt in many countries especially in the United States of America. The Terrorists used military jets to bomb the cities and also in many times they use suicide bombers. Some of the Terrorists are known by the countries in which they terrorize such as Osama Bin Laden while other prefer to remain unidentified and put on masks when communicating to the leaders of the countries in which they terrorize. Most people think that these acts of terrorism as extreme as they are supported by the Islam Religion and the contents of the Quran allow war as long as it is in the defense of the name of Allah and that any believers in the Quran who die in war will automatically go to heaven. The Terrorism Attacks are funded by individuals, who support the actions of the terrorist groups. The acts of terrorism are organized for a long time before they executed. The terrorist attacks are both national and international depending on the target.
Jemaah Islamiah frequently abbreviated as JI mena an Islamic Congregation. Jemaah Islamiah is a terrorist organization from the Southeast of Asia with a dedication to creating Daulah Islamiyah in the region. The UN Security Council Resolution has listed JI as a terrorist organization linked to other terrorist groups such as the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Jemaah Islamiah is believed to have smaller branches in such countries as Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. In addition to the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, The JI is also suspected to have links to the Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, both believed to have been formed by Abu Bakar Baasyir.
The roots of Jemaah Islamiah are believed to be in the Darul Islam. Darul Islam means the House of Islam, which was a movement against the colonialists in Indonesia in the early 1940s. The Darul Islam movement was propagated by three men, Shahrul Nizam, Abu Bakar Bashir and Abdullah Sungkar. The two leaders bashir and Sungkar were put in prison for a long time and when they came out of prison, Bashir moved to Malaysia together with his followers where he recruited more people from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines and at this point is where they changed the name of their movement from Darul Islam to the current Jemaah Islamiah.
When the Surhato regime in which both the leaders were imprisoned came to an end, the two leaders went back to Indonesia where Sungkar made contact with Osama Bin Laden and also the network of the Al-Qaeda. During the Poso and Maluku communal conflicts the JI became violent and focused their violence to the United States who at that time took over to lead War on Terrorism. From this point onwards, the JI has over the years recruited, trained, financed and made links with more terrorism groups such as the Rajah Sulaiman movement of Philippines, Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as well as the Misuari Renegade/Breakaway Group (MRG/MBG). The JI has over the years maintained a low profile until the Bali bombings in 2002 when they were put out in the public.
Abu Bakar Bashir and Abdullah Sungkar were the leaders of Jemaah Islamiah. They were sent to prison by the Surhato regime, and when Bashir escaped, he moved to Malaysia till when the regime came to an end. In 1998, Bashir moved back to Indonesia after recruiting and training more members of the Darul Islam, which are currently referred to as Jemaah Islamiah (JI). In 2003, Bashir was charged with treason about the Bali bombings in 2002. He was found guilty of the charges despite the Jakartra High Court attempt to overturn the case. He was jailed for two and a half years and released in 2006 when the sentences on him reduced by two.
Other members in the leadership included, Mohammed Noordin Top, believed to be the leader behind the August 2003 attacks. His identity and whereabouts remain unknown till the present. Also, there is Mohamad Iqbal Abdurrahman known by his nickname Abu Jibril. He was the second in command with his whereabouts unknown until 2001 when he was arrested in Malaysia. Another leader was Fathur Rahman al Ghozi. He was in charge of bomb making and was shot in Philippines by the Police. Another leader was Azhari Husin, whose identity remained unknown till the year 2005. He was the mastermind beyond the attacks in 2003 and had his life ended in a police raid. The other leader was Mas Selamat Kasteri, who was the commander of the local JI group and was captured in Malaysia.
The first goal of the JI was to promote the local Jihad. The JI was to promote Darul Islam with the aim of making Indonesia an Islamic State. Darul Islam emerged in Indonesia in the 1940s when Indonesia was getting independent from Netherlands. Darul Islam was inspired by the Revolution in Iran and the anger that they had for the Soeharto regime in Indonesia. The two leaders Sungkar and Bakar discarded Darul Islam and formed JI with the aim to overthrow the state through violence and political agitation.
The second goal was to promote regional Jihad, creating an Islamic caliphate in the Southeast of Asia. This was to be achieved by identifying targets and attacking them. These set targets were to be within the state itself as this would create tension in the state enabling them to easily create the Islamic Caliphate.
The third goal was to create and promote global Jihad. This was affected to great extents by such organizations as Al-Qaeda. They found their inspirations from the great thinkers of such international terrorism groups such as the works of Abu Musab, as-Suri, Abdul Qadir and Aby Bakr Naji.
At the start, before the 1980s, Jemaah Islamiah had about 300 members. In the late 1980s, according the Global Security Organization, there were more recruitments and the number of members grew to more than 500. From the statistics of the Council of Foreign Relations, the number of members from Malaysia alone was about 200. In the year 2003, the NBR estimated the membership number to have grown to a range of 500 to 1, 000 members. On the nineteenth of June 2009, the Council of Foreign Relations estimated the number of membership to be from hundreds to thousands. It can be concluded that the more recruitments of members happen all the time, and the number keeps growing bigger and bigger with the passing years.
JI uses a variety of mechanisms to seek out its funding. The Al-Qaeda, for example, supports the JI by giving them money and weapons. Apart from the Al-Qaeda, the JI has also managed to fund itself in many ways. Some of the ways include raising money through charities. The JI builds up charity organizations and the funds that they get from the sponsors and well-wishers of charity programs they use it to fund their terrorism movements and attacks. The JIs have also used front companies to fund these acts and moves of terrorism. Another way in which the JI get funding through Hawalas. Hawala means underground banking and these kind of banking do not have the money in the eye of the public. Large sums of money can be moved through these banks without being noticed as only the members of these banks are aware of the existence of these banks.
Another way of raising funds is through donations from the member or other members in the society who are not necessarily members of the organization but people who support what they do and feel it’s the correct thing to do. Also, the members are involved in smuggling of gold and gem. This way they can sell the gold and gemstones at very high prices and use the money to fund their acts of terrorism. Another way that the JI raises money to fund acts of terrorism is by getting involved in petty crimes. They steal goods of low value from the members of the community but in large quantities. This way they are capable of making a lot of money sufficient to be a part of funding for the terrorist attacks. According to Malaysian Intelligence, despite all these sources the biggest funding to JI still comes from Al-Qaeda-linked sources such as shura council members. The value of JI’s assets in that time were estimated to about US $500, 000. The Al-Qaeda also provided them with material and training support.
According to the US State Department, JI has enough resources to fund their terrorism however there are experts who argue that the Bali attacks in 2002 was not a complete success due to lack of enough funding. A list of about 300 charities, of individuals and corporations who were believed to fund both Al-Qaeda and JI was prepared by Treasury Office of Foreign Asset and most of the individuals on the list were from Southeast Asia. Some people in the list are however believed to be there due interagency politics.
One of the places with great presence of the JI members is Singapore. It is in Singapore the JI and the Al-Qaeda coordinated to plan the attack on the assets of the foreign countries, which were in the country. Photos and videos and reports on reconnaissance, which suggested that Changi Airport, Ministry of Education Building and the Ministry of Defense at Bukit Gombak were the targets for terrorist attacks were found in Singapore. These pieces of evidence were found by the Department of Internal Security (ISD) of Singapore in Singapore.
Also, more than 80 JI members were found in Indonesia and arrested. The total arrests made in Singapore was 30 while that in Malaysia was 80. Also in Philippines 12 people were arrested while in Thailand and Cambodia only eight people were arrested. The population distribution of JI members can, therefore, be concluded to be highest in Indonesia and Malaysia, followed by Singapore, and then by Philippines and Thailand and Cambodia come last.
The JI in their vision of transforming the state into an entirely new Islamic State, they came up with two kinds of tactics to help them achieve these goals. The first tactic was the Al-Qaeda like tactics. These Al-Qaeda like tactics were supported by a minority group of the JI led by Hambali. The other type of tactic was the tactic in which was supported by the majority group who were seen as bureaucrats. The second tactic did not support the violent tactics and believed that violent tactics were blocking ways for the long-term goal plans they had in place. Those supporting the second tactic, the non-violent tactic, argued that building up a military and proselytization are the best primary tactics to start an Islamic revolution in the state.
The JI attacks started with the soft targets such as popular but small tourist places. This was in the year 2002 and 2003 and according to some experts this was a sign of weakness as was the reason for the arrest of most JI leaders and members during this time before the major attacks, could take place. In the JI attacks, they used a number of hard and violent attacks evident car bombing and even suicide bombings that they were involved in.
Relationships with other Terror Groups
Since the 1990s, JI and the Al-Qaeda group have maintained very tight relationships. The JI has been over the years suspected to have helped Al-Qaeda’s Ramzi Yousef in the Bonjika Operation. Operation Bojinka was an operation in which there was a plot to bring down eleven United States’ passenger airplanes. Also, in the same Operation Bojinka involved other plots such as the attacking the Western Embassies in Singapore and also terrorism in the famous Bali attacks. Also, Al-Qaeda and JI have come together in training of their members. JI members have been sent to go and get training in Al-Qaeda military camps in the 90s in Afghanistan. In the 9/11 attacks, the JI are believed to have provided aid to the Al-Qaeda.
The JIs have also been linked to other terrorist groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). It is from the MILF in which the JI found their bomber Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi popularly known as Mike. JI also has a very strong link to Kumpulan Militant Malaysia from the Philippines. Another group that is linked with the JI is the Indonesian Mujahidin Council, which was also led by Abu Bakir Bashir. Furthermore, the JI members even went for their training in Mindanao in the 1990s including their bomb expert Al-Ghozi.
Relationships with the Community
The JI groups are is feared by people especially from other religious groups such as the Christians and the Indians. Some years back in around 1988, the JI grouped started violence against both the Christians and the Hindu. A good example is the ‘ Uhud Project’, which was launched to create an entirely Islamic State and to stop all the Christians and Hindus by establishing the Sharia Law. During the Tsunami disaster in Indonesia, both the JI and Al-Qaeda used this as an opportunity to win individuals support by providing them with relief. The US humanitarian was just in time to minimize this impact of this extremism.
The first major attack was in 1995 when Al-Qaeda-linked Ramzi plotted to bomb 11 America’s airliners in Asia. The plan failed though. Also in December 2000, 22 people were killed in a series of bombings in Manila and 18 people were also killed in Indonesian church bombings. In December 2001, the US, British and Israel embassies were targeted for attack but the plan failed and JI members arrested. Also, in October 2002, a nightclub was attacked in the Island of Indians in Bali leading to death of 202 people most of who were tourists from Australia. In September 2004, JI conducted a suicide bombing in a car leading to 20 deaths and 129 injuries just outside Australian Embassy. Three people were killed, and one hundred other injured in these attacks. Finally, in October 2005 there was a triple suicide bombing in Bali killing 20 people and injuring 129 other people.
In conclusion, we can say that terrorism groups and everywhere and some of them are trained, and individuals should consider their personal security when it comes to matters of terrorist insecurities. The government has put in place Intelligence Organizations to stay ahead of the terrorists. Terrorist groups are not heavily funded with thousands of dollars but also work together with each other to successfully execute the acts of terrorism such as the Al-Qaeda and the JI. The recruitment of more terrorist group members is always ongoing, and the number of the members of such groups is always on the rise. The members of the society are expected to work with the Departments of Security and the National Intelligence to eliminate this threat of Terrorism. Extreme Islam Terrorism can be tied to the fact that the Islams want to turn states and the whole world into Islam. The resistance of this idea by Hindus and Christians lead to the acts of terrorism as an act of making the Hindus and Christians to change their minds and join Islam.
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