Center for Strategic Communication

by Chris Lundry

As reported yesterday by some Indonesian media outlets, a new group calling itself Tandzim  al-Qo’idah Indonesia has released an “official” statement taking responsibility for the Jakarta bombings of 17 July. There are some interesting elements in the statement, although whether it is genuine remains in question.

If true, the statement represents not only an admission of responsibility for the bombings but it also announces a new extremist group in Indonesia.  If real, it is likely a splinter group of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). The name “al-Qo’idah” also bears obvious phonetic similarity to “al-Qaeda.”  

A developing schism in JI concerns the use of violence, and specifically the targeting of civilians, including Indonesians. In an Asian Times report published 25 July, Nelson Rand detailed some information about these splits, and names Noordin Top’s splinter group, Tanzim Qaedat al-Jihad, a name similar to the one on the statement. The statement on the web site is signed by Noordin (here Nur Din) Top, who has been suggested as the likely engineer of the Jakarta bombs.

In fiery language sprinkled with the appropriate Koranic quotes (in both Arabic and Indonesian), the statement names the United States and its “running dogs” as the targets of the attacks.  No Americans were killed, but six westerners did die in the blasts, and three Indonesians including the two suicide bombers. The statement also specifically names the Manchester United Football Club’s upcoming visit as a rationale for the bombing, claiming that the team is made up of “crusaders” and that it is wrong for Muslims to be fans of the team. Beside the anti-Western rhetoric, however, there are also statements about the economic exploitation of the West, appeals to the global community of Muslims, and a call to restore the Rosyidah Caliphate. Intriguingly, the letter ends by naming the suicide bombers as members of military companies (sariyah) named for Azhari and Jabir, two JI militants killed in police raids in 2005 and 2006, respectively, implying that the group has significant numbers.

The statement has generated tremendous buzz. At the time of writing, it had prompted over 700 comments and over 17,000 views in just over 24 hours (and remarkably–even stupidly–38 people had signed on as “friends”). The comments range from support of the bombings to condemnation, and seemingly every position in between (for example, terror as a tactic is OK, but not in Indonesia). Some call for Bashir’s execution. Some are suspicious of the site, and state that it might be a State Intelligence Department ploy. Others make accusations against other commenters, claiming that some might be spies for foreign interests.  Of course, one or more of these claims may be true.

As for the veracity of this statement, it is difficult to imagine this purported new group making such a bold public statement in its first communique.  On the other hand it seems more unlikely that someone with no ties to or sympathy with the group would fabricate it, inviting scrutiny by Indonesian intelligence.  Given the amount of buzz the post has generated, we can be sure they will be working overtime to get to the bottom of it.

All things considered, I suspect we haven’t heard the last from Tandzim al-Qo’idah Indonesia.

Update: 7-29, 20:10 MST.

Below is my translation of the statement.

Al Qo-idah Indonesia organization’s official explanation for the martyrdom jihad operation at the JW Marriot (sic) Hotel, Jakarta:


This is an official explanation from Al Qo’idah Indonesia for the ummat about the martyrdom jihad operation at the JW Marriot (sic) Hotel Jakarta, Friday morning, July 17, 2009 (M./24 Rojab 1430 H) by one of the mujahidin brothers against the American interests at that hotel. Truly there has been a perfect action of martyrdom with the favor of Allah and his blessings after doing a serious survey and the in depth spying against the kaffirs beforehand.


And the true commands of Allah:


Then (the true one) is not you who kills them, but it will be Allah that kills them, and it is not you who throw stones when you throw stones, but Allah who throws stones.  (Allah does such as this to destroy them) and to give the victory to the faithful, with a victory that is good. Truly great Allah hears again and understands.” (QS Al Anfal : 17).


This also is consistent with the commands of exulted Allah:


“Fight them, surely Allah will destroy them with (between) your hands and Allah will humiliate them and help you face them, to ease the hearts of those who have faith.” (QS Attaubah : 14).


So that the ummat indeed knows America, especially those who gather in that meeting, they are the leaders of business and intelligence in the economy of America. And they have great importance in the hoarding of the wealth of the Indonesian nation and the wages of the kaffir army (America) that attack Islam and Muslims. And we will tell the great news to those of Islam’s ummat, through Allah most high through the release of samples of film from these martyrs, Allah willing.


And we give the name of this martyrdom operation: “Military Company Dr. Azhari.”


We are giving good faith to Allah so that Allah will help us and help Muslims in the near future.


Amir Tandzim Al Qo’idah Indonesia


Abu Muawwidz Nur Din bin Muhammad Top Hafidzohullah


Al Qo-idah Indonesia organization’s official explanation for the martyrdom jihad operation at the Rizt Calrton (sic) Hotel, Jakarta:


This is an official explanation from Al Qo’idah Indonesia for the ummat about the martyrdom jihad operation at the Hotel Rizt Calrton (sic) Jakarta, Friday morning, July 17, 2009 (M./24 Rojab 1430 H) that was done by one of the mujahidin brothers against the running dogs of America that gathered at the hotel. Truly Allah has bestowed his blessings to us to attack the most arrogant hotel that is owned by America in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, namely the Rizt Calrton (sic). Where the control and security there that was truly very tight to attack like this as we did this time.



“They make a strategy and even Allah makes a strategy. And Allah is the great maker of strategy.” (QS Ali Imron: 54)


The attack that we desired from the organization that is:

  1. As an eye for an eye (revenge that is fair) for the deeds of America and its running dogs against our brothers those Muslims and Mujahadin through the corners of the world.
  2. To destroy their strength in this nation, where they are the thieves and robbers of the valuable things of those Muslims in this nation.
  3. Cast them out of Muslim nations, especially from the nation of Indonesia.
  4. To be a lesson to the Ummat Islam that there will be divine truth in Wala’ (loyalty) and Baro’ (enmity), especially regarding the coming of the football Club Mancester (sic) United to this hotel. These players are crusaders. And further it is not appropriate that this ummat gives loyalty and respect to these enemies of Allah.
  5. These martyrs as coolers and medicine for the hearts for those Muslims who are oppressed and abused through the corners of the world.


Finally, Truly these jihadi groups will be the spirited promoters of this ummat and to give life to the obligation of jihad that is one path to enforce the Rosyidah Caliphate that once was, God Willing.


And we give the name to the jihad operation: “Military Company Jabir.”


Amir Tandzim Al Qo’idah Indonesia


Abu Muawwidz Nur Din bin Muhammad Top Hafidzohullah