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The Emir: An Interview with Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, Alleged Leader of the Southeast Asian Jemaah Islamiyah Organization

Abstract : Press Release: Terrorism in Southeast Asia: An Interview with Abu Bakar Ba'asyir 10/03/2005 - In August, Dr. Scott Atran travelled to Southeast Asia and conducted extensive research on terrorist groups operating in the region. This interview with Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, alleged leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah organization, was conducted on August 13 and 15, 2005 from Cipinang Prison in Jakarta. Questions were formulated by Dr. Atran and posed for him in Behasa Indonesian by Taufiq Andrie. The interview took place in a special visitor's room, where Ba'asyir had seven acolytes acting as his bodyguards, including Taufiq Halim, the perpetrator of the Atrium mall bombing in Jakarta, and Abdul Jabbar, who blew up the Philippines ambassador's house. Excerpts from the interview are below; click here to read the full interview. Q. In your personal view, what do you think of bombings in our homeland, namely the Bali, Marriott and Kuningan bombings? A. I call those who carried out these actions all mujahid. They all had a good intention, that is, Jihad in Allah's way, the aim of the jihad is to look for blessing from Allah. They are right that America is the proper target because America fights Islam. So in terms of their objectives, they are right, and the target of their attacks was right also. But their calculations are debatable. My view is that we should do bombings in conflict areas not in peaceful areas. We have to target the place of the enemy, not countries where many Muslims live. Q. What do you mean by “wrong calculation,” that the victims included Muslims? A. That was one them. In my calculation, if there are bombings in peaceful areas, this will cause fitnah [discord] and other parties will be involved. This is my opinion and I could be wrong. Yet I still consider them mujahid. If they made mistakes, they are only human beings who can be wrong. Moreover, their attacks could be considered as self-defense.
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Contributor : Scott Atran <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 10, 2005 - 1:22:20 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
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  • HAL Id : ijn_00000631, version 1



Scott Atran. The Emir: An Interview with Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, Alleged Leader of the Southeast Asian Jemaah Islamiyah Organization. Jamestown Foundation, Spotlight on Terrorism, 2005, 3 (9). ⟨ijn_00000631⟩



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