Jemaah Islamiya (JI)
Jemaah Islamiya (JI) is an Islamic extremist group with cells operating throughout Southeast Asia. Members arrested in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines have revealed links with al-Qaeda. The JI's stated goal is to create an Islamic state comprising Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the southern Philippines. Three Indonesian extremists, one of whom is in custody in Malaysia, are the reported leaders of the organization. JI began developing plans in 1997 to target U.S. interests in Singapore and, in 1999, conducted videotaped casings of potential U.S. targets in preparation for multiple attacks in Singapore. A cell in Singapore acquired four tons of ammonium nitrate, which has not yet been found. In December 2001, Singapore authorities arrested 15 Jemaah Islamiya members—some of whom had trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan—who planned to attack the U.S. and Israeli embassies and British and Australian diplomatic buildings in Singapore. Additionally, the Singapore police discovered forged immigration stamps, bomb-making materials, and al-Qaeda-related material in several suspects' homes.
The exact numbers of JI are unknown but press reports approximate that the Malaysian cells may comprise 200 members. The JI has cells in Singapore and Malaysia; press reports indicate the JI is also present in Indonesia and possibly the Philippines.
In October 2002, a bomb destroyed a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, killing 202 people. In August 2003, an Indonesian court convicted and sentenced to death a member of the Islamist militant group Jemaah Islamiyah for helping plan the attack. Although one-half of the people killed in the Bali attack were vacationing Australians, the convicted terrorist claimed subsequently through his lawyer that "the targets were the Americans and the Jews."
█ FURTHER READING:
CDI (Center for Defense Information), Terrorism Project.
CDI Fact Sheet: Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. March 27, 2003. < http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/terrorist.cfm > (April 17, 2003).
Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook, 2002. < http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/ > (April 16, 2003).
Taylor, Francis X. U.S. Department of State. "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001." Annual Report: On the Record Briefing. May 21, 2002. < http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/rm/10367.htm > (April 17,2003).
U.S. Department of State. Annual reports. < http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/annual_reports.html > (April 16, 2003).