RIDUAN ISAMUDDIN – HAMBALI
HambaLi was born as Encep Nurjaman on 04/04/1966in Sukamanah, West Java, Indonesia. In 1985 Hamabli met Abu Bakar Bashir, the future leader of the INDONESIAN JI , in Malaysia, where both fled into exile following a crackdown on Muslim political activists in Indonesia. After a period of Islamic studies withAbu Bakar Bashir,HambaLi went to Afghanistan to fight alongside with the Mujahidin against the Soviets.
In 1990 HambaLi returned to Indonesia. A short time afterwards he traveled with Abu Bakar Bashir again to Malaysia, to teach Islam in a school of religious law named for one of the early Islam teachers – HambaLi, which became his nickname. He also helped to expand the newly INDONESIAN JI network in Pacific Asia. HambaLi married at that time Noralwizah Lee Abdullah that he met in the school. During this period he struggled to make a living for his family.
In 06/1994 HambaLi with his wife, Khan Amin Shah and others founded the Konsojaya Trading Company in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Intelligence sources believed that the basic funding was provided by Mohammed Jamal Khalifa. Konsojaya actually laundered and funneled money and material assistance to several regional militant Islamic plots such as the Bojinka Plot.
Shortly after the fall of former Indonesian President Suharto in 1998 HambaLi returned to Indonesia and began vigorously to recruit new activists and expand INDONESIAN JI. On the Millennium eve HambaLi coordinated a wave of church-bombings in Indonesia and when his role in the bombings was exposed HambaLi was forced to go underground from 2000.
On 01/03/2000 HambaLi participated in the Kuala Lumpur Convention. In 01/2002 HambaLi was the chairman of the Bangkok Meeting. In 08/2002 HambaLi accommodated Reda Seyam in Jakarta, when he transferred money from Saudi Arabia to the INDONESIAN JI.
After his involvement in the Bali ‘02 Bombings Indonesian authority, as well as CIA, strengthen their efforts to catch Hanbali. based on initial information provided by Majid Khan, an aid of HambaLi, nikname Zubair, whose real name is Mohamad Farik Amin, was captured by the CIA in 06/2003. Zubair’s arrest led to the arrest of HambaLi himself near Bangkok, Thailand, by USA special forces, on 08/11/2003, while preparing an attack on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok.
Another militant was arrested with him: Bashir Bin Lap a.k.a. “Lillie” who, according to the office of the director of U.S national intelligence, “was slated to be a suicide operative for an Al Qaeda ‘second wave’ attack targeting Los Angeles. Following a short investigation both were transferred to Guantanamo Bay where they are today (05/2007).
HambaLi envisioned an Islamic state from Thailand to North Australia and in that perspective he was more extreme than most of his comrades and supporters.
HambaLi was a key figure in the attempt to link and hitch the more moderate version of Islam practices in Pacific Asia to Al Qaeda and the Global Jihad. His success was limited and Muslims from South and Pacific Asia play only a minor role in the Global Jihad.
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