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Just sharing – Reemergence of Jemaah Islamiyah

ipacInstitute for Policy Analysis for Conflict Report no. 36, 27 April 2017.

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The report looks at the decline of JI after 2007 and the quiet rebuilding that has taken place since 2010 under the leadership of Para Wijayanto, a long-time JI member from Kudus who placed more emphasis on dakwah than jihad. The military wing was headed until late 2015 by Khairul Anam, better known as Ustadz Batar, a veteran of the Ambon conflict, who called up long inactive members, including those trained in Mindanao, to head various subunits. He also supervised a program to both amass and produce weapons.  His capture and other arrests have halted the military program, at least temporarily.

JI maintains that all members must be prepared for an eventual military showdown with the enemy as they strive to build an Islamic state, even if at the moment, there is no rationale for the use of violence. In the Syrian conflict, JI positioned itself against ISIS and in support of what used to be known as the al-Nusra Front and sent some of its members to Syria for short-term training – again in the interests of preparation (i’dad) for some future confrontation.

“JI’s strengths are its historical legacy, its family networks and loyalist core, and its long-term vision that give it a resilience that no other extremist organization has,” says Jones. “That said, it’s hard to be a jihadist organisation without an active jihad.”

About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at


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