See More on Facebook

Analysis

JAD – the terror group behind Surabaya bombings

JAD, the largest local terror group pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, has played a significant role in the terror attacks.


Written by

Updated: May 15, 2018

Multiple deadly bombings in East Java and the brutal killing of six police officers at the Mobile Brigade headquarters (Mako Brimob) in Depok, West Java, which took place within less than a week have catapulted Jamaah Ansharud Daulah (JAD) into notoriety.

JAD, the largest local terror group pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group, has played a significant role in the terror attacks.

“[The attacks] are connected to JAD, which is the main supporter of ISIS in Indonesia and was founded by Aman Abdurrahman,” National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian confirmed on Sunday.

A family of suicide bombers linked to JAD attacked three churches across Surabaya on Sunday morning, killing at least 12 people and injuring 41 others.

Two attempted bombings were reported at two other churches in the East Java capital. Later the same day, another explosion was reported at a low-cost apartment in the neighboring city of Sidoarjo. The latest attack took place on Monday morning, when a bomb exploded at the Surabaya Police headquarters.

In total, 25 people, including 13 suicide bombers, were killed and dozens injured in the series of bombings in Surabaya, which resembled the pattern of attacks carried out by the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) movement at dozens of churches across Indonesia at the start of the millennium.

JI is said to have renounced violent jihad, leaving pro-IS group JAD as the most lethal terror group in the archipelago.

But what is JAD? And how influential is its founder, Aman?

The Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) calls JAD “the largest faction of ISIS supporters in Indonesia,” consisting of followers of pro-IS ideologue Aman and Jamaah Anshorul Tauhid (JAT) leader Abu Bakar Baasyir.

The term JAD, which means “Partisans of the [Islamic] State Group,” was previously a generic term referring to anyone who had sworn allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but is now specifically used by a group that was formed in Malang in November 2015 and has chosen Aman as its ideological head.

Aman was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2004 after a failed terror plot in Depok, West Java, and was released for good behavior in 2008.

Soon after his release, Aman collaborated with Ba’asyir to form a joint terrorism training camp in Aceh in 2010 that united the different terrorist groups, leading to another prison sentence of nine years.

Despite being behind bars, Aman has been accused of involvement in several other terrorist attacks across Indonesia, including masterminding the deadly Jan. 14, 2016, Thamrin attacks in Central Jakarta.

The firebrand cleric, who graduated from the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Studies (LIPIA), was also allegedly involved in the May 25, 2017, bombings in Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, that killed three policemen.

Aman and his followers believe that all security forces of an ansharut thoghut (idolatrous state) should be considered kafir (non-believers), whose property can be seized and blood can be shed.

After the declaration of the Islamic State by al-Baghdadi at Mosul, Iraq in June 2014, Aman believed that the Hegira, or emigration to Syria, was the obligation of all ISIS supporters.

Shortly before the 2016 Thamrin attacks Aman issued a fatwa that was widely circulated among extremist groups:

“Emigrate to the Islamic State and if you cannot emigrate, then wage jihad with spirit wherever you are, and if you cannot wage war or you lack the courage to do so, then contribute your wealth to those who are willing to do so. And if you cannot contribute, then urge others to undertake jihad. And if you cannot do that, then what is the meaning of your loyalty oath [bai’at]?”

The terror inmates who rioted last Tuesday evening at the Mako Brimob detention center reportedly demanded to speak with Aman, who is being held at the facility, during initial negotiations with police officers, a demand that the police later met.

The police, Tito said, suspected that the Surabaya bombings were motivated by the police’s actions in arresting leaders of JAD. “They reacted [to the arrests] by carrying out retaliatory attacks, such as that which occurred at Mako Brimob.”

The terrorists’ decision to launch the attacks in Surabaya, Tito said, may have been related to the recent conviction of the leader of JAD’s East Java chapter, Zaenal Anshari, for smuggling weapons to Indonesian militants in the southern Philippines.

Zaenal is the second-in-command in JAD after Aman.

The incidents in Depok and Surabaya were part of a number of recent terror attacks or attempted attacks allegedly orchestrated by JAD-linked militants.

Since the Thamrin bombings in January 2016, counterterror officials have thwarted numerous attempted attacks by suspects affiliated with JAD in various regions across Indonesia.

In January 2017, the US State Department said it had designated JAD as a terrorist group, which in practice prohibits US citizens from being involved with it.

The deadly riot at Mako Brimob, which led to a 36-hour standoff between terror inmates and security forces, and the string of bombings in East Java, may have shown that the group has ramped up its capability to launch terror attacks.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Jakarta Post
About the Author: The Jakarta Post is one of Indonesia's leading English-language daily newspapers.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis

Rohingya refugees refuse repatriation

Repatriation postponed as Rohingyas feel return to Myanmar still not safe. The much-awaited launch of the Rohingya repatriation was cancelled at the last moment yesterday as the refugees refused to return to Rakhine for fear of fresh persecution. “The refugees don’t want to return now,” Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali told reporters after briefing foreign diplomats in the capital’s State Guest House Padma in the evening. He said Bangladesh sheltered the persecuted Rohingyas with an open heart when they fled Rakhine last year. “We can’t force them to go,” he said, adding that Bangladesh would now discuss with Myanmar sending a group of Rohingya leaders (majhis) to Rakhine to


By Daily Star
November 16, 2018

Analysis

India watchful amid developments in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s political crisis has a regional power closely watching developments. The return of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa to power in Sri Lanka amid political turmoil has triggered concern in India, with analysts warning it could lead to a deterioration of ties with the island nation to its south-east and increase the influence of China, already making serious inroads into South Asia. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Oct 26 and named his one-time rival as his replacement. The move plunged the country into political turmoil and a constitution


By The Straits Times
November 14, 2018

Analysis

President Xi emphasizes role of Hong Kong, Macau

Both Hong Kong and Macao were told to integrate with nation’s overall development. President Xi Jinping underlined on Monday the unique and irreplaceable role of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions for China’s reform and opening-up in the new era. He also called on the two regions to better integrate themselves with the nation’s overall development. Xi’s remarks came as he met with a delegation of about 210 representatives from the two SARs who were in Beijing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up. The position and role of Hong Kong and Macao will only be strengthened rather than weakened, Xi said. The two regions should continue to play a leading role and enable more capital, technology and talent to take part in the country’s high-quality development and in the new round of high-level opening-up, he said. People of the two regions should continu


By China Daily
November 13, 2018

Analysis

Report of NK’s ‘undisclosed’ missile bases not new, S. Korea says

South Korea’s presidential office on Tuesday played down a new report on North Korea’s “undisclosed” missile sites. South Korea’s government said that it’s going too far to call the North’s continued activity a “great deception” given that it has no specific agreement to dismantle or disclose the facilities mentioned in the report issued by Beyond Parallel, a group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The group said it has located 13 out of an estimated 20 missile operating bases undeclared by the secretive communist regime. “The dispersed deployment of these bases and distinctive tactics employed by ballistic missile units are combined with decades of extensive camouflage, concealment and deception practices to maximize the survival of its missile units from pre-emptive strikes and during wartime operations,” the report


By The Korea Herald
November 13, 2018

Analysis

‘Forced repatriation’ to pose security risk

International crisis warns that forced repatriation of Rohingya refugees could pose serious security risks. The International Crisis Group has warned of serious security risks of “forced repatriation” of the Rohingya, just as Myanmar and Bangladesh prepare for the November 15 return of the refugees sheltered in Bangladesh. In a statement, the Brussels-based global advocacy body said Rohingyas strongly opposed the repatriation move and would do whatever they can to resist it. “This [forced repatriation] will increase tension in the camps and could lead to confrontations between refugees and Bangladesh security forces and greatly complicate humanitarian operations. “A botched repatriation attempt could potentially set back peace and development efforts by years,” said the statement released yesterday. It comes two weeks after Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin the repatriation


By Daily Star
November 13, 2018

Analysis

Suu Kyi stripped of Amnesty honour

The Amnesty International has stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of its highest honour, the latest of several honours taken away from her since last year’s brutal military crackdown on the Rohingyas. This is the eighth honour that the former Nobel peace prizewinner has been stripped of over the past year, with Amnesty following the example of Canada, US Holocaust Museum, UK’s Edinburgh, Oxford, Glasgow and Newcastle and Canada’s Carleton Universities which also revoked Suu Kyi’s honorary degrees and awards. The long-celebrated Nobel Laureate was given Amnesty’s most prestigious honour, the Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2009 marking the 20th anniversary of her arrest and 20 years since it declared her a prisoner of conscience. The AI yesterday announced withdrawal of its highest honour fr


By Daily Star
November 13, 2018