Viewing cable 06JAKARTA13509
Title: INDONESIA'S TOP THREE WANTED TERRORISTS AND A

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06JAKARTA135092006-12-18 07:26:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET Embassy Jakarta
VZCZCXRO7437
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #3509/01 3520726
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 180726Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2502
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0239
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 1225
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 013509 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR S/CT, EAP/MTS, DS/IP/EAP, DS/DSS/ITA, DS/CC 
DOJ FOR CTS THORNTON, AAG SWARTZ 
FBI FOR ETTUI/SSA ROTH 
NCTC WASHDC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2026 
TAGS: PTER ASEC EFIN KCRM KHLS KVPR CVIS KPAO ID
SUBJECT: INDONESIA'S TOP THREE WANTED TERRORISTS AND A 
PROMISING NEW LEAD 
 
Classified By: Political Officer David Willis for reasons 1.4(b),(d). 
 
¶1. (S) Summary:  Despite hundreds of terrorists arrested by 
Indonesian authorities in the past several years, three top 
operatives linked to Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) remain on 
Indonesia's "Most Wanted" list.  Of these, Malaysian Noordin 
Mohammad Top is well known; the other two, Indonesians Abu 
Dujanah and Zulkarnaen, are not.  They share deep, formative 
experiences at JI's Lukmanul Hakiem pesantren in Johor, 
Malaysia, the militant training camps of the 
Pakistan-Afghanistan border region and JI-led attacks and 
activities in Indonesia's communal conflict areas in recent 
years.  This suggests that they may well be in touch with one 
another even as they remain underground.  Police hope leads 
on Dujanah, who is currently under surveillance, will put 
them back on the trail of the other two.  The INP has shared 
terrorist-related information such as this with us in the 
past and we expect this to continue.  End Summary. 
 
¶2. (C) Indonesia's leading CT priority, Noordin Mohammad Top, 
remains at large and his current whereabouts are unknown.  He 
and the next two CT targets, Abu Dujanah and Zulkarnaen (both 
aliases), are all linked to the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) 
terrorist network, which remains active in Southeast Asia. 
As such, they continue to pose a serious threat to Western 
and Indonesian interests, despite the several hundred 
terrorist-related arrests and prosecutions that have whittled 
away at terrorist ranks over the past few years. 
 
¶3. (C) The linked personal histories of these figures help 
keep a network like JI together and make it likely that they 
remain in touch with one another.  Most salient are their 
early ties to the Lukmanul Hakiem pesantren in Johor, 
Malaysia, established by JI founders Abu Bakar Ba'asyir and 
the late Abdullah Sungkar.  In the late 1980s and 1990s, 
Lukmanul Hakiem was home to JI's Mantiqi 1 and an incubator 
for many of JI's top terrorists.  These ties were further 
strengthened by months or even years together in training 
camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the southern Philippines, 
and by shared experiences, if not collaboration, since 2000 
in Indonesia's terrorist attacks and communal conflicts. 
 
NUMBER ONE:  NOORDIN TOP 
 
¶4. (C) Noordin Mohammad Top is without a doubt Indonesia's 
top CT priority.  The Indonesian National Police (INP) 
maintains a constant nationwide manhunt for this 
co-conspirator of the late Malaysian bombmaker Azahari bin 
Hussein.  INP investigators believe the 38-year-old Top 
continues to be the main driver behind JI's suicide bomb 
operations.  Several local CT observers, including JI expert 
Sidney Jones, have said they strongly suspect the charismatic 
and persuasive Top leads a JI splinter group and may no 
longer part of the main JI organization, although he likely 
views his group as the true JI vanguard.  In early 2006, Top 
called his group "Tanzim Qoidat al-Jihad" (various 
spellings), although other names, such as "Thoifah Muqotilah" 
(various spellings) may also refer to his group.  Jones says 
Top is not a religious scholar and is not fluent in Arabic, 
which forces him to rely heavily on others in developing 
ideological and doctrinal positions.  According to Jones, 
Mukhlas, currently on death row for his role in the 2002 Bali 
bombing and Top's longtime mentor, records religious speeches 
onto cassette tapes which Top has used as a recruitment tool. 
 
¶5. (C) As of early December, it appeared that Top's trail 
again had turned cold.  Top's keen operational tradecraft has 
kept him one step ahead of investigators, and he has been 
remarkably successful in recruiting new members and planning 
operations while on the run.  INP CT investigators believe 
Top is highly disciplined, uses various alias personas and 
disguises, and strictly avoids using cell phones, which are 
easily monitored, instead relying on trusted JI couriers to 
communicate.  Since Azahari's death, it is unclear what 
contacts Top maintains with other senior JI figures, but it 
appears clear that JI network links are instrumental in 
helping him to evade capture.  These couriers and support 
networks were essential in locating Azahari, and may likely 
prove useful in stopping Top. 
 
 
JAKARTA 00013509  002 OF 003 
 
 
¶6. (C) As in the cases of other key JI terror suspects, the 
INP is focusing its search for Top on Java, mainly in the 
central and eastern provinces.  However, INP Inspector 
General Gories Mere (the Deputy INP Chief Investigator), INP 
General Bekto Suprapto (the head of Special Detachment 88), 
and INP General Surya Dharma (head of the INP's CT Taskforce 
"Team Bomb") told the Ambassador on December 8 that they were 
following up on leads that Top was now in South Sumatra, 
possibly in Lampung or Palembang.  They also said that 
developments in the case of JI figure Abu Dujanah (below) had 
yielded evidence suggesting Dujanah might be in contact with 
Top.  Investigators hoped this might allow them to capture 
both longtime CT targets. 
 
¶7. (U) Top has been linked with the JI network for over 15 
years.  He attended Lukmanul Hakiem pesantren and, after 
graduating from a Malaysian university, returned to teach at 
the pesantren in the 1990s.  He developed relationships there 
with others who later joined in conducting terrorist 
operations such as 2002 and 2005 Bali attacks, the 2003 
bombing of Jakarta's Marriott Hotel, and the 2004 bombing of 
the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.  At the school, Top met 
several other JI figures, including Hambali, Mukhlas, and Abu 
Dujanah, all of whom were teachers there.  He also met 
Azahari among the school's religious study circles.  Other 
contacts from that time included Afghan veteran and Ngruki 
graduate Mohammad Rais, currently serving a seven year prison 
sentence for his role in the first Bali attacks and the 
Marriott bombing.  Rais' sister became Top's first wife in 
¶1998.  Top's second wife, whom he married in a secret wedding 
in 2004, was arrested just four months after the wedding and 
was sentenced to three years for hiding Top.  She is not due 
for release until 2007, but there are unconfirmed rumors that 
she already has been released. 
 
NUMBER TWO:  AINUL BAHRI, A.K.A. ABU DUJANAH 
 
¶8. (C) The death or capture of Top unquestionably would be a 
major coup for Indonesia's CT effort and a significant loss 
to JI recruitment and operations.  The hype surrounding the 
search for Top, however, might cause some GOI officials to 
see his arrest as constituting the final blow to Indonesia's 
immediate terror threat.  Top's Malaysian citizenship also 
may tempt some GOI officials publicly to declare the 
Top-Azahari episode as the end to a foreign-based terror 
threat.  In reality, there are other JI-linked figures at 
large who have the ability and motivation to carry out 
attacks using explosives and can recruit and enlist support 
from both inside and outside the JI network.  Among them are 
several jihad veterans trained in the camps of Afghanistan 
and the southern Philippine. 
 
¶9. (C) One of these key figures is the Indonesian Ainul Bahri 
(aka Abu Dujanah), who spent several years in Afghanistan 
training camps (approx. 1988-1991) before becoming a teacher 
at Lukmanul Hakiem.  His extensive tactical experience in 
Afghanistan, and later as a trainer in the southern 
Philippines in the late 1990s, his fluency in Arabic, and his 
experience as personal secretary to JI spiritual leader Abu 
Bakar Ba'asyir give Dujanah both operational and ideological 
credibility. 
 
¶10. (S) Private comments by INP investigators in November and 
December suggest INP investigators may see Dujanah as a 
greater overall threat than Top.  Some JI observers believe 
Dujanah may have assumed command of JI as early as 2003 when 
Abu Rusdan, who had replaced then-imprisoned Abu Bakar 
Ba'asyir, was arrested.  Benny Mamoto, one of the INP's top 
CT investigators, has suggested that the high number of 
investigative trails leading to Dujanah was evidence of his 
central role.  Another lead INP investigator appeared to 
confirm Dujanah's central role in pointing to evidence of a 
possible link between Dujanah and several extremists 
currently at large in Central Sulawesi.  He speculated that 
Dujanah might be planning to carry out an attack there, 
possibly before the end of this year.  Nasir Abas, a former 
JI leader arrested in 2003 who now closely cooperates with 
the INP, also told us in early December that he suspected 
Dujanah played a more important role in command and control 
than previously thought. 
 
JAKARTA 00013509  003 OF 003 
 
 
 
¶11. (C) Dujanah's central is most likely exercised in the 
context of a "flat" organizational structure within JI. 
Mamoto in early December reiterated his belief that JI was in 
the "emergency" state described in the JI's guidebook (the 
"pupji"), i.e. a state where a central leader retained some 
level of operational control but where cells had considerable 
operational autonomy.  In a similar vein, Nasir described JI 
as in a state of "controlled decentralization" in which much 
of the hierarchical JI structure was gone, leaving more 
operational responsibility to individual cells while one 
leader, possibly Dujanah, retained some operational approval 
and guidance. 
 
¶12. (S) An Australian Federal Police (AFP) report which was 
recently shared with us confirmed the INP had located Dujanah 
and currently had him under surveillance in Central Java. 
The INP surveillance team had allegedly observed Dujanah 
meeting with his son, Yusuf.  The AFP report further 
confirmed the INP intended to determine whether surveillance 
of Dujanah would provide any clues as to Top's whereabouts. 
 
NUMBER THREE:  ARIS SUMARSONO, A.K.A. ZULKARNAEN 
 
¶13. (C) Aris Sumarsono (aka Zulkarnaen) is another key JI 
figure currently among Indonesia's most wanted and is 
generally regarded as JI's military chief since Hambali's 
2003 arrest.  Zulkarnaen is reportedly fluent in Arabic and 
possibly English as well, and formerly had Al Qaeda contacts, 
although it is unclear whether these have been maintained in 
recent years.  Many JI members view him as an operational 
father-figure, according to Nasir Abas.  Mamoto describes 
Zulkarnaen as intelligent and operationally savvy, reportedly 
observing INP operations and altering his own operations 
accordingly.  Like Top and Dujanah, Zulkarnaen also uses 
couriers to communicate within the network, according to INP 
investigator Mamoto.  Mamoto adds that Zulkarnaen is a 
recruiter with a charismatic personality and a personal touch. 
 
¶14. (C) An Indonesian, Zulkarnaen attended the Al Mukmin 
("Ngruki") pesantren during the period 1975-1980 (approximate 
dates) and subsequently Indonesia's prestigious Gajah Madah 
University in Yogyakarta, Central Java, where he studied 
biology.  He was a protg of Sungkar and was selected in 
1985 to join the first group of future JI leaders sent to 
Afghanistan for training, during which time Zulkarnaen forged 
strong ties with Hambali, Dujanah, other future JI leaders 
and Al Qaeda members.  Zulkarnaen actively coordinated JI 
military activities in Ambon in the late 1990s, and may have 
played a central role in planning JI's main attacks in recent 
years, possibly including the 2005 Bali attacks.  In 2003, he 
reportedly set up a new group of elite JI special forces, 
including suicide bombers, called "Laskar Khos," but it is 
unclear whether the group remains active.  Some local JI 
observers have told us Zulkarnaen currently may be focusing 
his efforts on dakwah, or proselytizing activities, in 
response to internal strategic changes in JI.  Comments by 
INP investigators suggest they can only guess at Zulkarnaen's 
whereabouts, most likely in Java but possibly as far away as 
the southern Philippines.  His wife and children reportedly 
reside at the Ngruki pesantren in Solo. 
HEFFERN