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

China pledges international pandemic aid

 Producers of medical goods urged to meet demand from affected countries. China has pledged to do its best to offer aid to countries and international organisations affected by COVID-19 to help contain the outbreak, and businesses are being urged to boost production of epidemic prevention materials to meet demand from abroad. The announcement was made at a meeting of the leading group of China’s coronavirus response, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday. Relevant departments and local authorities must step up co-ordination to closely monitor and analyse the quick spread of the outbreak outside China and roll out more targeted measures to prevent the import and export of infection, the group said in a statement. It is important to further


By China Daily
March 13, 2020

Analysis

Back to work in Beijing, with tough measures in place

 Mandatory quarantine for those coming from overseas; some Wuhan businesses may reopen. As most of China attempts to return to normalcy after an extensive lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the capital Beijing has been carefully trying to strike a balance between having people restart work while also trying to keep out imported infections, and yesterday ordered a mandatory quarantine for all international arrivals. This comes as the Hubei government announced that some businesses in Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicentre, would gradually be allowed to reopen. On Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan, his first visit to the city since the outbreak, a sign that the crisis could finally be easing after the government’s toug


By The Straits Times
March 12, 2020

Analysis

Xi vows victory over coronavirus in Wuhan

President expresses condolences to families of people who died in epidemic. President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak remains the top priority and most important task, even amid the recent positive signs. Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark during his inspection tour in the outbreak’s epicentre, Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. The spread of the novel coronavirus has been basically curbed in Hubei and Wuhan, Xi said, adding that initial success has been made in stabilising the situation and turning the tide in Hubei and Wuhan. Xi encouraged local residents and front-line worke


By China Daily
March 11, 2020

Analysis

China sets example in fighting virus

Epidemic reveals inadequacies in global governance; Beijing says it’s ready to help. China’s response to novel coronavirus pneumonia has set an example for the world in coping with the contagion and offered experience in advancing global public health governance, officials and experts said. The COVID-19 outbreak has also raised the alarm about global public health security and reminded countries that co-operation and co-ordination are needed to deal with challenges as infectious diseases can rapidly escalate into global emergencies, they said. There is a growing positive momentum in epidemic control nationwide thanks to the “comprehensive, thorough and rigorous” measures that China has taken to contain the virus, they said, noting that the daily


By China Daily
March 10, 2020

Analysis

More than 800,000 people return Beijing under quarantine

“There’s still a risk of an outbreak of the disease with people coming to Beijing from other cities and countries,” Zhang Tongjun, deputy head of a group for prevention and control work in the city’s residential communities, said during an afternoon conference. About 827,000 people who came back to Beijing from outside the city are still in a 14-day quarantine to see if they had been infected with the novel coronavirus, an official said on Friday. “There’s still a risk of an outbreak of the disease with people coming to Beijing from other cities and countries,” Zhang Tongjun, deputy head of a group for prevention and control work in the city’s residential communities, said during an afternoon conference. Z


By China Daily
March 9, 2020

Analysis

South Korea declares third city as special care zone as cases spike

President Moon receives letter of support from North Korean leader as infected cases cross 6,000. South Korea has declared a third city a “special care zone” to boost its capability to fight a spike in coronavirus infections, with cases nationwide soaring beyond 6,000. The death toll stands at 42, mostly the elderly with underlying health conditions, while 88 people have recovered, including 47 discharged yesterday. The care zone announcement came as the presidential Blue House revealed that South Korean President Moon Jae-in received a letter on Wednesday from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressing support and comfort to the people battling the coronavirus outbreak, adding that he is confident they will “prevail in this fight wit


By The Straits Times
March 6, 2020