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This profile was last updated on 10/24/06  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Jafar Umar Thalib

Wrong Jafar Umar Thalib?

Founder

LaskarJihad.jpg
 
Background

Employment History

  • Commander
    Laskar Jihad
  • Head
    Laskar Jihad
  • Chief
    Laskar Jihad
110 Total References
Web References
Western Resistance: Indonesia: The Roots Of Muslim & Christian Conflict On Poso
www.westernresistance.com, 24 Oct 2006 [cached]
Two days before Thalib was acquitted, a Christian leader, Dr Alex Manuputty was sentenced to three years' jail for "promoting separatism".
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Following his own acquittal, Thalib said of Manuputty's sentence: "I question why you would sentence him to only three years on charges of subversion while the charge itself carries a minimum sentence of 15 years.
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It has been suggested that this had happened because Jafar Umar Thalib, who had been arrested in April 2002 for a speech made at Ambon mosque, in which he threatened not only Christians, but the government, was awaiting his trial.
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This individual, Jafar Umar Thalib (pictured), had sent his Laskar Jihad militias to Poso in August 2001, significantly increasing the conflict's casualties.
He had also been responsible for much of the violence of the Moluccan War, which took the lives of 9,000 people and will be described below.
45-year old Thalib said to AKI that "The government is on the right path and the situation is under control." He said there was no need to reinstate Laskar Jihad, which had voluntarily disbanded in October 2002. He said: "The decision to disband Laskar Jihad in 2002 came about not because of external pressure but through our belief that the government's good faith and efforts were helping to end the conflict."
Jafar Umar Thalib is an enigmatic character, but despite his history of helping to propagate was and conflict, he is widely respected in the Indonesian Muslim community. He has been arrested and imprisoned on several occasions, but not once has he received any conviction for his activities.
Thalib was born in Malang in East Java province in 1961. He is of Yemeni and Madurese parentage. For the most part, his early life had been spent as a teacher of Arabic and Islamic sciences in pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) which were funded by the Al-Irsyad Foundation. Al-Irsyad is made up mainly of Indonesians of Arabic origin, like Thalib. The religious outlook of the pesantren schools they sponsor is, like Thalib's, of the Wahhabist persuasion. Thalib had studied in Saudi Arabia, where Wahhabist fundamentalism began and still flourishes.
Already a supporter of extreme and fundamental Islamism, Jafar Umar Thalib had gone to Afghanistan in 1988 to become a Mujahideen against the Soviets. He went here after he had been studying at the Maududi Institute in Lahore, Pakistan, which had been funded by the extremist Sayyid Abul a'la Maududi (1903 - 1979). Maududi's Islamism gave rise to the Jamaat-e-Islami parties in Pakistan and Bangladesh, which wish to destroy democratic laws and establish sharia rule in both countries. Jafar Umar Thalib had been taking advanced Islamic studies at the Maududi Institute but dropped out, and moved to Afghanistan.
Like many "mujahideen" who fought in Afghanistan at this time, Thalib claims that he met Osama bin Laden during his stay in the country. Thalib returned to Indonesia in 1989, where he helped to run the Al-Irsyad network of pesantren.
Thalib, like the Wahhabists, bin Laden, the followers of Maududi and most of the Al-Irsyad, believes that nations should be under sharia rule. Certain figures in the Indonesian political establishment feel similarly. Thalib is said to have links to figures in the army. When he established Laskar Jihad, he is reputed to have done so with the backing of politicians. It appears that Thalib's "connections" have allowed him to never receive any punishments for the horrific atrocities carried out by his militias.
Unlike the Jemaah Islamiyah and other militant groups, Thalib believes in Indonesia as a political entity, and his aim to establish sharia is framed within national terms, rather than as a pan-southeast Asian Caliphate.
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One its main members was Jafar Umar Thalib. The FKAWJ rejects popular Muslim groups (Muhammadiya and Nahdlatul Ulama), as their tolerance of democracy and other faiths makes them heretical. It also does not allow women positions of power. Thalib believes that its duties to women are "to educate them and then marry them to pious men who are capable of preventing them from falling into sin. Men's role is to supervise women and ensure that their behaviour is properly Islamic."
Thalib has three wives, all wearing black shrouds, hijabs (headscarfs) and niqabs (face-veils). He now has 14 children by his wives.
AmbonMap.gif Ramadan came to an end in January 1999, and with it came the stability of Ambon in the Moluccas, under their system of "Pela Gandung". It has been argued that this outbreak of sectarian conflict had been instigated by the military, who hoped that the weak government of Halibi would collapse under such conflict, and could be used as an excuse to introduce martial law.
Laskar Jihad was officially founded on January 30 2000 in Yogyakarta (some say 1999) as the paramilitary division of the FKAWJ. Thalib claimed that the LJ was formed after it was learned that in Malaku province (the Moluccas), there were plans by Protestant Christians to form a Christian state, independent of Indonesia. This was, as Thalib perceived it, to include North Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Papua (Irian Jaya).
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Thalib claimed that the Christian separatists intended to wage war on the Muslims and drive them out in a process of "ethnic cleansing".
While Laskar Jihad was being formed, in January 2000, an Acehnese Islamist called Al-Chaidar organised a large Muslim rally in National Monument Park, Jakarta, where he called for a holy war against the Christians in Ambon.
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Wahid was the first ever elected president, but his moderate version of Islam was viewed by Thalib as heretical.
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Thalib said of his government: "It is positioned to oppress Muslim interests and protect those of the infidels."
LaskarJihad.jpg On April 26, 2000, Thalib and his lieutenants bragged that they had a special relationship with the head of the TNI, Admiral Widodo. (Widodo was charged to carry out the investigation into the Poso conflict at the end of last year.
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In August 2001, Thalib sent a large force of Laskar Jihad to Poso.
But the most intense operations of Laskar Jihad were focused on Ambon, and against the Christians who until then had lived in harmony with their Muslim neighbours.
By April 2002, things had reached the worst point in ethnic relations on Ambon.
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On Friday, April 26, after evening prayers, Jafar Umar Thalib addressed a gathering of 5,000 Muslims outside the Al-Fatah Mosque in Ambon, urging them to fight a holy war against the Christians. He said: "From today, we will no longer talk about reconciliation.
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Following this atrocity, Thalib was arrested on May 4, 2002, at the town of Surabaya, the capital of East Java. He was then taken to Jakarta to remain in custody until Thursday July 25 2002on bail. Thalib had been charged with inciting the Soya massacre, and also insulting President Megawati Sukarnoputri.
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On 30 January, 2003, Jafar Umar Thalib was acquitted.
Early in October 2002, before his trial, Laskar Jihad was voluntarily disbanded. It is gone, but is still a presence which could be reactivated.
Thalib at one stage had been involved in the stoning to death of an alleged rapist in 2001. Magazine reports had said that he had cast the first stone. Though arrested for this act, he was never prosecuted. He fancies himself as an Islamic intellectual, but his main role is as an agitator and as a fighter. In 2002 in Jakarta, he was engaged in a public debate with Nurcholish Madjid, one of Indonesia's leading Islamic scholars. He was not able to match Madjid's intellectual strength.
In January this year, Thalib and hundreds of his former Laskar Jihad fighters were brought to the Al-Fatah mosque in Ambon. Here they were given a lecture by imam and author Luqman Ba'abduh.
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Ironically, after the events of 9/11, Jafar Umar Thalib had condemned his former mentor, Osama bin Laden, along with Al-Qaeda, as a "khawarij".
A timeline of Indochina and Indonesia by Piero Scaruffi, 206 BC – Jan 2012 – Copyright © 2011 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
mandirigma.org, 1 Jan 2012 [cached]
May 1946: Dato Onn bin Jafar founds the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) to fight British colonialism
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2000: Jafar Umar Thalib founds a radical Islamic organization, Laskar Jihad, to join in the persecution of Christians in the Moluccas with help from the military
Statement and supporting documents on the operations of the Freeport McMoran Mine in West Papua, Indonesia
etan.org, 24 Sept 2008 [cached]
Laskar Jihad's commander, Jafar Umar Thalib, led the group against Christians in the Mulukus, killing thousands. He had met Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan but unconvincingly downplayed connections with al-Qaeda.
Christian persecution in Indonesia
www.cswusa.com [cached]
Jafar Umar Thalib, head of the militant Islamist group Laskar Jihad, is reported to have said he is planning to send more than 10,000 Laskar Jihad members to Ambon. "Preparations are unnecessary. They are already ready," he told reporters at a press conference.
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* Jafar Umar Thalib - head of Laskar Jihad was acquitted in January.
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For example, Jafar Umar Thalib, the leader of the militant Laskar Jihad organisation, was acquitted on January 30 despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Mr Thalib called for 'holy war' against Christians in Indonesia and threatened the President and the Vice-President in April 2002. He was released from detention shortly after being arrested.
Baroness Caroline Cox, President of CSW UK, visited Palu in Central Sulawesi earlier this year where she met Rev Damanik in prison and attended the court while he was giving evidence in his defense. She said: "I very much hope that justice will be done and will be seen to be done for Reverend Damanik in order to demonstrate Indonesia's commitment to impartial justice for all citizens and due process of law, which are essential characteristics of civil society.
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The violence follows the arrival of Jafar Umar Thalib, the leader of the militant Laskar Jihad organization. Mr. Thalib held a Tabliq Akbar (religious speech) on April 26 calling for war against the Christian separatists. Two days after this the Christian village of Soya was attacked by militants leaving at least 12 dead (including two children) and 11 injured.
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Mr. Thalib was arrested on May 4 at Surabaya airport on his return from Ambon. [Please see translation of parts of Mr. Thalib's speech below.] The authorities are charging him under article 160 (incitement to crime/agitation) and article 134 (defamation of the President) of the Criminal Code. Both charges relate to Mr. Thalib's inflammatory speech, of which there is video and taped evidence, and the subsequent attack on Soya village. Article 160 carries a maximum sentence of 6 years and article 134 a sentence of 8 years imprisonment. The minimum sentence is a fine of some 4500 rupiah (about 50 cents).
Whilst the Indonesian authorities ought to be commended for the arrest, it is noteworthy that Mr. Thalib was arrested exactly one year ago and then released after 11 days in detention to freely continue his activities. It is crucial that Jafar Umar Thalib's arrest leads to a conviction this time. There are grave concerns that he might be released following protests from leading Islamists and violent attacks by his supporters in Ambon who launched mortar attacks on the Christian communities over the weekend killing two people and injuring at least 12.
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2. To take immediate measures to arrest and prosecute Jafar Umar Thalib for violating clauses four and five of Malino Agreement to which the Indonesian government is a signatory.
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3) To urge the Indonesian government to take swift action against those groups and/or individuals (such as Mr. Atamimi, Jafar Umar Thalib, Laskar Jihad, associated groups and local front organizations) making inflammatory statements and inciting violence against and hatred of ethnic and religious groups.
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The following day, Jafar Umar Thalib, head of Laskar Jihad, reportedly told a crowd of some 5,000 Muslims at the Al-Fatah Mosque in Ambon City that the Malino Peace Agreement was treason.
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CSW calls on the Indonesian government to arrest Jafar Umar Thalib and others who are in direct violation of clauses four and five of the Malino agreement (see below) and to arrest those responsible for violence or inflammatory statements which provoke further conflict.
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The man said to be the largest supporter of terrorism against the Christians in Central Sulawesi and the Moluccan Islands is Jafar Umar Thalib, the leader of the radical Islamic group Laskar Jihad.
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Mr. Thalib, the leader of Laskar Jihad, has denied any links with either Osama bin Laden or the al-Qaeda network.
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CSW has continually campaigned for the removal of the Laskar Jihad militants from conflict zones in Indonesia and for the arrest of the leader of the organization, Jafar Umar Thalib.
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Laskar Jihad is widely acknowledged to have links with international Islamist movements in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Malaysia and Philippines, although Mr. Thalib, an Afghan veteran, denies any involvement with Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network.
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3) To take immediate measures to investigate, identify and bring to justice those responsible for perpetrating the violence, in particular, the Laskar Jihad Commander Jafar Umar Thalib.
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Jafar Umar Thalib, the leader of the organization, which is linked with international Jihad movements, visited the Moluccas region at the end of October.
He made a number of inflammatory speeches and called for the continuation of the violence against Christian communities, reportedly stating that the "war would not be over until Muslims could celebrate Idul Fitr [the feast at the end of Ramadan] in Kudamati, Passo, Saparua and other Christian locations". Since then, the violence has steadily escalated.
CSW has been working together with Muslim and Christian communities in the Moluccas to promote reconciliation between the two communities. Based on their recommendations, CSW has continued to call on the Indonesian authorities to bring to justice those instigating the violence in the region, such as Jafar Umar Thalib, the leader of Laskar Jihad.
Asked whether Laskar Jihad was ...
www.seamist.org [cached]
Asked whether Laskar Jihad was going to revive its armed wing, Thalib said: "No.
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Laskar chief Jafar Umar Thalib
In January, the group's leader, Jafar Umar Thalib, was declared innocent of inciting hatred and religious violence by an East Jakarta court, a decision condemned by human rights groups.
After his arrest last May, Thalib was visited by Indonesian Vice President Hamzah Has and soon was released on bail.
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