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Indonesian Terror Group, Close Zawahiri Ally Previously Plotted Regional Hijackings

"Serious transnational threat" Jemaah Islamiyah has been finding new footing in a post-Osama world.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 13, 2014 - 6:03 pm

WASHINGTON — An Indonesian terrorist organization that a senior defense official said this week posed a “serious transnational threat” has previously been caught planning hijackings in the region where Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared.

U.S. military assets participating in the search and recovery efforts confirmed they were asked to relocate to the west side of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean as pings indicated the plane turned away from its route to China and turned back over the Malaysian peninsula. ABC News also reported Thursday that the data-reporting system on the flight shut down before the transponder, from 1:07 a.m.to 1:21 a.m., raising suspicions that the plane was at the hands of someone nefarious.

Jemaah Islamiyah has long had designs on roping Malaysia and the Philippines into an Islamist state along with Indonesia, and was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government after the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing. The group has traditionally used Malaysia for fundraising and as a home base for trainees fresh from the Af-Pak region.

JI plotter Mas Selamat Kastari, who escaped from custody in Singapore in 2008 and was recaptured in Malaysia the following year, was accused of orchestrating a plot earlier in the decade to hijack a plane out of Bangkok’s airport and crash it into Singapore’s airport.

Jemaah Islamiyah had been considered a shadow of its former self in recent years, but the terror group’s name has been occasionally dropped on Capitol Hill as a jihadi movement getting a new lease on life in a post-Osama world.

“Indonesians are the first — are for the first time going overseas to fight, not just to train, which has given rise to concerns that this conflict may breathe new life into the group Jemaah Islamiyah, which analysts previously considered to be moribund,” Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a Syria hearing last week.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict Michael D. Lumpkin told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that “a task force of about 500 special operators and supporting general purpose forces” helped the Philippines battle “a serious transnational terrorist threat from Abu Sayyef and Jemaah Islamiyah.”

In a House Homeland Security Committee hearing last summer after the Boston Marathon bombings, Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security at Georgetown University, testified that “the continued fragmentation of the jihadi movement as a result of bin Laden’s killing and core al-Qaeda’s weakening may paradoxically present new and daunting challenges to both regional and Western intelligence and security services.”

“The continual emergence of new, smaller, more dispersed terrorist entities with a more fluid membership that easily gravitates between and among groups that have little or no established modus operandi will raise difficulties in terms of identifying, tracking, anticipating and predicting threats,” Hoffman said, using as example close al-Qaeda ally Jemaah Islamiyah’s “splintering into smaller, more numerous lashkars or militias that have proven difficult to identify and track.”

Hoffman also warned that the leaders rising up after much-vaunted killings or arrests of terror leaders “have shown themselves to be more lethally violent than their predecessors,” making for an “unnerving” task in dealing with next generation al-Qaeda and its global network of skillfully metastasized allies.

One of those active Indonesian splinter groups, Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid, is led by radical cleric Abu Bakar Baasyir, the longtime spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah.

His words are published on the group’s website, including a Monday message to mujahideen volunteering in Syria.

“My brother, the days that you will encounter will be increasingly severe,” Baasyir wrote, telling them to “rest assured” that their path is correct. He extensively quotes from the Quran in the message: “Allah inflicted disaster to those who disbelieve, and thus vengeance to those who disbelieve.”

A 2008 Guantanamo detainee assessment of Jemaah Islamiyah mastermind Hambali, arrested in Thailand in 2003,  said he had once weighed the use of helicopters to get around security perimeters and attack the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. He also sent an operative to buy Russian-made surface-to-air missiles in Cambodia to target El Al flights out of the Bangkok airport.

Jemaah Islamiyah was working with Osama bin-Laden to launch a coordinated strike on 9/11/01 that would hijack and crash planes at the same time as the attacks on the U.S. The Gitmo document says bin Laden found this too difficult to synchronize so he dropped the southeast Asian part of the plan; operatives involved had been mapping out locations of U.S. carriers in the area and staying in Kuala Lumpur during parts of the plotting.

As far back as 1995, Hambali planned to bomb 11 U.S. airliners in southeast Asia. He also explored biological weapons programs and met with current al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri about bioweapons in Kandahar in 2001.

In 2006, Zawahiri released a video announcing that Jemaah Islamiyah and al-Qaeda were, from that point forward, “one line” as strategic and ideological partners facing a mutual enemy.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
No one is complaining about the NSA watching these guys. The problem is the NSA is watching Americans INSTEAD of spending that time watching these guys.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are a number of reasons the White House responds to terror attacks with, "There's no proof yet it is a terror attack", "Lets not jump to conclusions", and "We don't comment on an ongoing investigation". The primary reason is Obama's and Kerry's 9/10 idea that we go back to the day when terror was a mere nuisance like prostitution and stains on blue dresses.

This time it might be more personal.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/26/rep-peter-king-asks-for-explanation-of-terrorists-visa-white-house-visit/

In the midst of Obama's re-election Rep. Peter King and other Republicans asked why the President allowed a visa and a White House meeting with a known member of Gamal Islamiya, the terror group mentioned in this article. Why, Indeed.

This terror group bombed the WTC in 93, funded by KSM, once run by the blind sheik, and while continuing to operate under Rahman's sons, was kept in communication with the Sheik and AQ through liberal attorney Lynne Stewart, who was linked to Michelle Obama and the President's Chicago law firm. Don't get me wrong, I'm only saying these are embarrassing images.

Also embarrassing, when Morsi's MB took over in 2011, Obama compared them to MLK and Ghandi. When the elections came around, Rahman's AQ affiliated Gamal Islamiya formed a political wing and won enough seats to form a Radical Islamic coalition (read terrorist) to control Morsi. The amount of power they wielded swayed Obama to allow their spokesperson to come to the WH.

When Rep. King complained, the MSM argued that this was the "political wing of Al Qaeda....err...Gamal Islamiya, not the World Trade Center bombing sub-department, their office is down the hall way and to the left. They also argued that Gamal Islamiya had sort of shrugged their shoulders and given up on their holy Jihad which was ordered by God himself. Now we discover that might have only been true to the MSM who said, "Don't jump to conclusions".

The final paragraph of the above article that mentions the 2006 video and meeting announcing the merging of AQ and GI. In the video, Abdul Rahman's sons appear and kiss the hand of fellow Egyptian Zawahiri. Also, in 2012, more than 40 days before the release of the video Obama claimed started the riot in Cairo that supposedly inspired the spontaneous protest in Benghazi, the sons of Rahman and the brother of Zawahiri appeared on TV and called for a protest on 9/11 at the US embassy to call for the release of Abdul Rahman. This was the same request that was delivered in person at the WH. The result was a military style terrorist attack with accompanying high level American casualties. The US survivors are still being muzzled. A US president allowing AQ to walk in to the WH and ask for one of their terrorist masterminds, the Blind Sheik, to walk. Just to even allow the topic to be discussed? How does that not scream weakness? How does that not invite an attack on our embassies? So Putin is not the only one waiting in line to oblige the "Kick me" sign.

If as the above article claims that Gamal Islamiya had something to do with this, it makes sense that Obama would like to "Cool the mark" and let the story trickle. If China is releasing intel, you know ours is more extensive. Believability in your own government is the coin of the realm. If Obama is willing to drag a film maker off the street and openly lie repeatedly about a terror attack in Benghazi, then it is a far easier thing to believe that he would sit on intel for a time under the auspices of discretion, operational security and an ongoing investigation.

When in fact, It's only Obama looking out for Obama.

Planes fly, people die, the Obamas sigh.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
After hearing about the WSJ's reporting this evening (as of 1810 PDT) and reading the above it seems pretty clear this is terrorist activity.

All you isolationists and NSA critics wake the hell up, smell the coffee and get on board with rational people.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
my buddy’s step-sister makes $87 an hour on the laptop . She has been laid off for ten months but last month her pay check was $16037 just working on the laptop for a few hours. more tips here ,,,, http://www.Fizzjob.Com
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Abu Sayyef, floating, floating down the river....Floating, floating down the river.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
It seems plausible the plane could land on a long isolated sandy beach (it was low tide in that area around 4-5 hours after it disappeared) or on a makeshift runway on agricultural land.
I assume Obama has made contingencies for a plane attack in the region.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
No one is complaining about the NSA watching these guys. The problem is the NSA is watching Americans INSTEAD of spending that time watching these guys.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
MYSTERY SOLVED!

The X-Files Division of the CIA moved the Bermuda Triangle to South East Asia.

Kidding aside, for a highly unusual look at this mystery click or google www.apollospeaks.com
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are a number of reasons the White House responds to terror attacks with, "There's no proof yet it is a terror attack", "Lets not jump to conclusions", and "We don't comment on an ongoing investigation". The primary reason is Obama's and Kerry's 9/10 idea that we go back to the day when terror was a mere nuisance like prostitution and stains on blue dresses.

This time it might be more personal.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/26/rep-peter-king-asks-for-explanation-of-terrorists-visa-white-house-visit/

In the midst of Obama's re-election Rep. Peter King and other Republicans asked why the President allowed a visa and a White House meeting with a known member of Gamal Islamiya, the terror group mentioned in this article. Why, Indeed.

This terror group bombed the WTC in 93, funded by KSM, once run by the blind sheik, and while continuing to operate under Rahman's sons, was kept in communication with the Sheik and AQ through liberal attorney Lynne Stewart, who was linked to Michelle Obama and the President's Chicago law firm. Don't get me wrong, I'm only saying these are embarrassing images.

Also embarrassing, when Morsi's MB took over in 2011, Obama compared them to MLK and Ghandi. When the elections came around, Rahman's AQ affiliated Gamal Islamiya formed a political wing and won enough seats to form a Radical Islamic coalition (read terrorist) to control Morsi. The amount of power they wielded swayed Obama to allow their spokesperson to come to the WH.

When Rep. King complained, the MSM argued that this was the "political wing of Al Qaeda....err...Gamal Islamiya, not the World Trade Center bombing sub-department, their office is down the hall way and to the left. They also argued that Gamal Islamiya had sort of shrugged their shoulders and given up on their holy Jihad which was ordered by God himself. Now we discover that might have only been true to the MSM who said, "Don't jump to conclusions".

The final paragraph of the above article that mentions the 2006 video and meeting announcing the merging of AQ and GI. In the video, Abdul Rahman's sons appear and kiss the hand of fellow Egyptian Zawahiri. Also, in 2012, more than 40 days before the release of the video Obama claimed started the riot in Cairo that supposedly inspired the spontaneous protest in Benghazi, the sons of Rahman and the brother of Zawahiri appeared on TV and called for a protest on 9/11 at the US embassy to call for the release of Abdul Rahman. This was the same request that was delivered in person at the WH. The result was a military style terrorist attack with accompanying high level American casualties. The US survivors are still being muzzled. A US president allowing AQ to walk in to the WH and ask for one of their terrorist masterminds, the Blind Sheik, to walk. Just to even allow the topic to be discussed? How does that not scream weakness? How does that not invite an attack on our embassies? So Putin is not the only one waiting in line to oblige the "Kick me" sign.

If as the above article claims that Gamal Islamiya had something to do with this, it makes sense that Obama would like to "Cool the mark" and let the story trickle. If China is releasing intel, you know ours is more extensive. Believability in your own government is the coin of the realm. If Obama is willing to drag a film maker off the street and openly lie repeatedly about a terror attack in Benghazi, then it is a far easier thing to believe that he would sit on intel for a time under the auspices of discretion, operational security and an ongoing investigation.

When in fact, It's only Obama looking out for Obama.

Planes fly, people die, the Obamas sigh.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
After hearing about the WSJ's reporting this evening (as of 1810 PDT) and reading the above it seems pretty clear this is terrorist activity.

All you isolationists and NSA critics wake the hell up, smell the coffee and get on board with rational people.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
As soon as I read that the plane just "disappared" from radar, I knew it was terrorist activity, or, more specifically, moslem jihadist activity. Everything I've read since strengthens that conviction.

As to "isolationists", YOU need to wake up. Were we, the USA< not meddling, killing, blowing things and people up, rigging elections, supporting insurgents, and otherwise playing the role of menopausal nanny in some 130 nations round the world, I rather doubt we'd be seeing a fraction of the moslem jihadist activity we now see.
And as to being an NSA "critic", you dambetchya I am, and will continue to be. They are wasting BILLIONS of MY tax dollars spying on and recording personal private email and phone information on hundreds of millions... not of terrorists, mozzie jihadis, insurrectioinists, but of normal liberty loving innocent harmless Ameicans minding our own affairs quite nicely thank you very much. I have been ecstatic to see Madam Feinstein with her panties all twisted cause she's figured out NSA are spying on HER and HER staff, and HER committee which is investigating the NSA. BUT.. she's too stupid to realise such unwarranted spying is wrong per se, and not wrong because it happens to target HER little fantasy world.

No, I do NOT occupy a bubble.... and many who have are recently waking from their slumber. We RATIONAL people DO smell the coffee.... and wonder why our "leaders" continue to run us broke supporting their little hobby of running about poking the hornets' nests in every corner of the world, the whiles screaming "security, we're here to keep YOU safe". Fine, then.. STOP provoking the hornets and we'll all be a lot safer.. AND richer. Trillions per year to make the hornets mad? And you think that's "rational"? What planet are you from?
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jihad has been waged long before the United States was founded.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whoa, socabill! Some folks wanna' make sure that you're not obsessed with protecting Israel.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/rand-paul-on-the-war-path
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Monitoring these kinds of groups would be a proper use of the NSA. The agency's inward-looking nature is what has people like myself upset.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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