JAKARTA, Indonesia: Indonesia’s government has asked a court to ban Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, a militant network linked to the Islamic State group, hoping to strangle its funding and support.
Also known as JAD, the network of almost two dozen extremist organizations has been implicated in numerous attacks in Indonesia in the past two years and was designated a terror organization by the U.S. last year.
Asludin Hatjani, a lawyer for regional leaders of the militant network, including Zainal Anshori, who is serving a seven-year prison sentence for gun smuggling, said Wednesday they had acknowledged in court that JAD exists but that it is not a legal entity in Indonesia.
Hatjani said the aim of the government case is to empower stronger police action against JAD. If it’s banned, he said, funds and property could be seized and members not actively involved in attacks could be arrested.
In 2008, a Jakarta court banned Jemaah Islamiyah, the al-Qaida affiliated network responsible for the Bali bombings in 2002. The group was obliterated by a sustained crackdown on militants by Indonesia’s counterterrorism police with U.S. and Australian support, but a new threat has emerged in recent years inspired by IS attacks abroad.
The prosecution indictment filed against the IS-linked group accused it of “committing terrorism acts as a corporation.” It said JAD supporters across Indonesia carried out attacks that killed civilians and police and damaged public facilities.
In May, two families carried out suicide bombings in Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya, killing a dozen people and two young girls involved by their mother and father in one of the attacks. Police said the father was the head of a local JAD cell.
A radical cleric who founded JAD, Aman Abdurrahman, was sentenced to death last month for inciting attacks including a 2016 suicide bombing at a Starbucks in Jakarta.
State prosecutors are scheduled to argue their case on Thursday.—AP