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Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia
(Indonesian Mujahidin Council or MMI)

Founded in Yogyakarta in August 2000 at a national conference attended by more than 1,000 delegates, MMI is an umbrella organization for political parties, NGOs, civil society organizations, and individuals committed to transforming Indonesia into an Islamic state. The Council included among its senior leadership many prominent intellectuals and politicians. Some are conservative only on religious matters. For example, the Cornell University trained historian Deliar Noer, a conservative figure but not a violent extremist, sat on the board of advisors of the MMI.

Laskar Mujahidin Indonesia (LMI) is a paramilitary wing of MMI. MMI sees the enforcement of the shari‘a as an action necessary to resolve the problems afflicting Indonesia. MMI was led by Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, on whom was bestowed the title Amirul Mujahidin (“the leader of holy warriors”). MMI publishes conspiracy-laden and vehemently anti-Semitic and anti-American books through Wihdah Press and its own magazine, Risalah Mujahidin, lobbies political officials, and in 2001 and 2003, held high-profile national conferences. Muhammad Jibril, son of Jemaah Islamiyah leader Muhammad Iqbal Abdurrahman, runs Ar-Rahman Media, its multimedia publishing house.

Abu Bakar Ba’asyi was man accused by Singaporean and Malaysian officials in January 2002 of having ties to Al Qaeda. He fled state prosecution in the early 1980s and established himself in nearby Malaysia. In the state of Negeri Sembilan in 1985, he established an ultra-conservative religious school (madrasa) dedicated to promulgating, among other things, the idea that Israel and the United States were global enemies of Islam.

In January 2000, several AQ members who had just completed training in Karachi, Pakistan accompanied KSM to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting that occurred over the next few days would steer the course of events to this day. Hambali and Sufaat represented JI at what has been called the “2000 Al Qaeda Summit”. It is believed that this is where AQ’s global plan was explained.

Following the January meeting, radical JI operatives began planning for attacks across Indonesia. Bakar Bashir was concerning about the timing and repercussions of any tacks. This caused significant turmoil within the JI organization as to hich direction the group should proceed. The rift between Bashir and Hambali intensified after Bashir and two former political prisoners founded MMI. As Indonesia’s political climate had changed over the previous two years, Bashir felt it presented new opportunity for dialogue. Hambali and the radicals felt it was in direct opposition to Sungkar’s chings. Bashir decided that MMI would be the political arm with JI assuming the organization’s military role.

Some JI leaders disagreed with Abu Bakar Bashir’s decision to accept the leadership of the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MJI), a Yogyakarta-based organization set up to promote the adoption of sharia (Islamic law). Many JI leaders were reportedly distressed by Bashir’s decision. Some thought it dangerous for JI, a clandestine organization, to exist alongside MMI, an open one, particularly when membership between the two overlapped. Others worried that Bashir would be unable to devote adequate attention to running JI.

The 2002 arrest of Agus Dwikarna, a major figure in Laskar Jundullah (LJun) and the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI) showed a possible connection to al-Qaida through another Indonesian al-Qaida-linked individual already in Philippine custody.

Controversy over the Ahmadiyya continued. Hardline groups renewed attacks on the minority group. In 2009 hardline religious groups demanded the Government act quickly to disband the Ahmadiyya and threatened to do so independently if the Government failed to act. Various rallies took place throughout the country both for and against a ban. Civil rights activists, members of the Presidential Advisory Council, and some leaders from Muhammadiyah and Nadhlatul Ulama spoke out claiming such a ban would be unconstitutional and contrary to the principles of Islam. Groups such as FUI, Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, and FPI threatened senior NU clerics in Cirebon West Java who opposed banning Ahmadiyya. According to media reports and Ahmadiyya sources, after the June 2008 decree, hardline groups in some areas vandalized or closed 20 Ahmadiyya mosques. Women's groups reported continued discrimination against Ahmadiyya women and children whose schools were forced to close.

Aris Munandar facilitated and provided support to JI activities in Southeast Asia. Munandar, a native of Indonesia, is reported to have been born between 1963 and 1970. He is a close associate of JI leader Abu Bakar Bashir. Munandar is a graduate of Bashir;s Islamic boarding school, Pondok Ngruki, and a member of Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI), an organization that Bashir helped found and later directed. He is also the head of KOMPAK, a non-governmental organization that produced videos used in the recruitment of JI members. Munandar is considered to be Bashir's assistant. As such, Munandar provided direct support and assistance to activities authorized by Bashir. On one occasion, Munandar procured explosives at the request of Bashir for use in Ambon. Munandar also facilitated recruitment and training for JI and al-Qaida activities in Indonesia. Munandar, working with al-Qaida operative Umar Faruq, is suspected of providing military training for recruits to join sectarian fighting in Sulawesi.

After Ba’asyir formed JAT in 2008, MMI lost many members to that organisation but has since stabilised under the leadership of Afghan veteran and prominent hard-line preacher, Abu Jibriel. MMI has been staunchly opposed to al-Baghdadi and ISIS and Jibriel’s popular ar-Rahmah website has been a leading source of anti-ISIS news and commentary, and the Jibriel and Fachry circles have often engaged in vitriolic exchanges, including labelling the other “infidels” (kafir). MMI has its own channels to the al-Nusra Front and Jibriel’s son, Muhammad Ridwan Abdurrahman, was killed fighting with al-Nusra forces in Syria in March of this 2016.

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Page last modified: 24-04-2017 16:05:34 ZULU