Abu Irsyad, Zarkarsih

Jun 15th, 2007, in IM Posts, by

The leader of Jamaah Islamiyah (JI), Abu Irsyad alias Zarkarsih, is captured by police.

Abu Irsyad alias Mbah alias Zarkasih alias Nuaim alias Zaenuddin was captured by Detachment 88 in Ngalik, Yogyakarta on Saturday 9th June, six hours after the capture of his junior, but more famous colleague, Abu Dujana, real name Ainul Bakri. While Ainul Bakri/Abu Dujana is thought to have been in control of the military wing of JI Zarkarsih was his superior, the "Amir" (highest leader) of JI in Indonesia and the operational commander for the Poso area of Central Sulawesi.

Abu Irsyad, Zarkarsih
Abu Irsyad or Zarkarsih, in a police video.

The 45 year old, born in 1962 in Pekalongan, Central Java, was appointed emergency head of JI during a meeting of high ranking JI leaders in 2005, after his predecessor, Andung/Adung, was arrested in Solo/Surakarta in June 2004.

In his videotaped confession aired on 15th June, Zarkasih explained that Abu Bakar Bashir was the leader of JI between 2000 and 2002, before being replaced by Abu Rusdan, then Andung/Adung, then himself. He said: [1]

The rest of the group appointed me as the head of the commission (to find a new leader) - I don't know whether that is as emir or not. But we have to find a good emir to lead the spread of Islam teachings and jihad.

Previously, in 1997 he studied Islam in Sasda/Saddah, Pakistan and in the following year he underwent military training at camp Udaidiah in Mindanao, southern Philippines, graduating second to Nasir Abbas. [2] [3]

April 21st 2008. Zarkarsih was sentenced to 15 years prison for terrorism offences. [4]


14 Comments on “Abu Irsyad, Zarkarsih”

  1. avatar Raden says:
    June 16th, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    Indonesian Police may capture one by one of the extrimist leaders but the new hundred of extremist leaders may breed at any day in every pesantren/madrasah. I want to see a concrete & real Muslim approach are being propagated by the truly Muslim themselve in every mosques/pesantren/madrasah without police intervention, they must truly believe if extrimism is just another ideology with their specific agenda (strings attached). Unfortunately I don’t see Muslim themselve are unified to see this endemic problem, so how to solve this?

    I heard Singapore have done a successful approach by ‘recruiting’ the imam/kyai who really believe on the forward thinking Muslim way of life, we must learn from the Singaporean malay on the way they handle this matter.

    We have the similar approach by Gus Dur & his doughter’s foundation but we need hundred more of this kind of Muslim foundation in order to reach every pesantren/madrasah.

  2. avatar Quazi says:
    June 16th, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Indonesia is a terrorist Disney Land. There’s an endless sea of recruits.

  3. avatar Berlian Biru says:
    June 17th, 2007 at 6:56 am

    I’m not sure why the above comments are so negative, Indonesia has actually done ok on hitting these guys. The last major incident was the New Year’s Eve bombing in 2005, in Poso, since that time the Indonesian security forces have pretty much wiped out this gang.

    Compare that to the Philippines where despite Islam being a small minority and the Filipino government receiving huge support in troops, equipment and money from the US for over a hundred years the Muslim insurgency continues. Look at Thailand too, a majority Buddhist nation with a military junta in charge and yet every day the Muslim terrorist problem in the south gets worse and worse.

    We can be critical of the Indonesian government for many things but at least they are getting to grips with the jihadis in a meaningful way.

    Now, if they would only get on with executing the Bali bombers, then I’d give them real brownie points.

  4. avatar Tomaculum says:
    June 17th, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Berlian Biru,
    maybe the negative reactions are just a accumulation of the bitterness some people felt, when they watch what happens in Indonesia.
    Surely the government seemly do everything to capture those guys, but … what then?
    Like the case of Amrozi? Where is he? In heaven? Or where else?
    Remember the sunday school accident in Bandung? The police (as executor of the law and a part of the governmental power) has only watched the threat of children and others by these “guys”.
    There is a long list of such “enjoyable” happenings, so that some people has loosen their belief to such actions.

  5. avatar Raden says:
    June 17th, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Berlian Biru, you missed my point, I do not criticize the Indonesian Police’s achievements, I questioned the rest of the Indonesian Muslim majority who claim as the non orthodox / non fundamentalist Muslim (the moderate Muslims), where are they?

    What have you done to contribute & prevent such terorist acts by the name of Jihad in home country of this republic? My point, Indonesian Police will never solve this acute problems exactly as you said like the troubles in Thail & Phil, weapon & force will never win against wrong & evil ideology. To cure this miss-product of Islam ideology must leverage on the another group of the moderate Muslim brothers who will speak their lingo & help them who think like evils. In this case, pls see what the Malay Singaporean Muslim are doing, they did similar like I said, it is very powerful & effective persuasive way of solving this militancy, I never endorse the USA way of creating war with weapon agains Islam fundamentalist. Sudah Jelas?

  6. avatar Taufik says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 3:29 am

    I agree with Berlian Biru. We have to respect the achievements of the Indonesian authority in capturing these suspects. Of course, there is still work to be done, but without any appreciation to what has been done, there would surely be a demoralization among the security personnel.

    As for Singaporean Malay, we have to look at the context. Your tone of saying “sudah jelas” refers to your “single authority” perspective. Singapore has different laws and culture from Indonesia. The laws on individual liberty and terrorism are also different. Indonesia, for example, does not have ISA that can detain people INDEFINITELY without charges. It’s of course an “obstacle” in itself, but it’s a democratic obstacle that has to be respected. Besides, what Singapore has done is meager compared to what it has done to suppress civil liberties and free speech. There is nothing wrong or right. It’s just different approach. There are more Indonesians with good approach, as Raden said (See one of Malaysia’s prominent scholars on Indonesia’s Islamic thoughts).

    In addition, Indonesia’s neighbor, Malaysia, has always been the source of radical thoughts across Southeast Asia. It’s time Malaysia gets a grip and acts on these stupid madrassas and pesantrens with perversive thoughts across Malaysia.

  7. avatar Ihaknt says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 6:14 am

    Let’s just see how long he is behind bars before he is released due to not enough ground. Anything is possible in Indo.

  8. avatar Arema says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Well said Raden, I agree completely. It’s good to see the police are doing a good job recently with the capture of Abu Dujana and this Abu Irsyad, but as you said, the new replacement will keep on coming unless we cut down the source.

    Singapore and Malaysia are not affected by terrorism because the Muslims there are well educated and see things more clearly from different point of view.

  9. avatar Raden says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Arema, the Muslim Singaporean are work hard people too, I hv never come across any Muslim here who thought provocatively with militant ideology. They abide law and you will surprise, they like & proud of being as Singaporean, in many occassion I questioned them, if you were given the chance to be as Indonesian with free citizenship & free green passport of Indonesia, will you accept it ? They said, No thanks, they said they do not like Indonesia because a lot corruption in daily life plus the newspaper’s coverage on the disaster Porong area made the story about how conglomerats & government handling the victims worsening our country image

  10. avatar Arema says:
    June 18th, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    Arema, the Muslim Singaporean are work hard people too, I hv never come across any Muslim here who thought provocatively with militant ideology.

    Of course. You can’t be faster than Singapore Police Force and anti-terrorism. Those militant ones sudah diciduk, lol. If you read The New Paper last week (if I’m not mistaken), you’ll see one Muslim lawyer turned extremist (because reading jihad websites) was captured before he left Singapore for military training.

    I questioned them, if you were given the chance to be as Indonesian with free citizenship & free green passport of Indonesia, will you accept it ? They said, No thanks

    Of course. Muslims in Singapore are not narrow-minded like their Indonesian and Arabic counterpart. In Singapore they have never been taught such mind-twisting ideology. All of those has been screened perfectly. There is simply no openings for them. But Singapore is not a good example because Muslim is a minority. Malaysia would be a better example. A Muslim-dominated country, Malaysian Muslim are moderate and well educated, and set example for all Muslims all over the world.

  11. avatar Berlian Biru says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 8:24 am

    -Malaysian Muslim are moderate and well educated, and set example for all Muslims all over the world.-

    Do you really thinks so?

    Indonesia does not have religious policemen with the power to break into your home at any hour of the night if they suspect unmarried couples are together inside like they do in Malaysia. Unlike in Malaysia which has Islamic law written into the constitution Indonesia is a republic which respects (nominally) religious freedom.

    Check out the comments section on the Lina Joy case in “Indcoup’s” weblog to discover the sort of foam flecked, lunatic Islamic hatred from Malaysians that I have never witnessed in Indonesia.

    Remember Azahari was a Malaysian and he chose to carry out his butchery in Indonesia because he didn’t think Indonesians were good enough Muslims.

  12. avatar Tomaculum says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Indeed malaysian Muslims are very well “educated” (or dressed? :) ) Maybe because they have such religious policemen.
    Indonesia has no official religious guards but such self-proclaimed and often enough such “moral policemen and -women” break into others houses to avoid adultery and bring then the suspect persons in procession to the real police.

    And the religious freedom in Indonesia is basically the freedom of the majority.

  13. avatar Arema says:
    June 19th, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    @berlian biru: Oh really?! I didn’t know about all that… maybe so far I’ve seen the good ones only.

    If what you’re saying is true, I’d like to take back my words about Malaysian Muslim. I think it is true. But having said that, Indonesian Muslim are no better than them too…

    And if Malaysia is not an example either, then there is no worthy example of “good” Muslim community… and so far if they seem “good”, they’re good because of something else (government regulations, religious police, etc) and not Islam itself. Yeah, that pretty much sums up everything.

  14. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:
    June 28th, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    ….. Unfortunately I don’t see Muslim themselve are unified to see this endemic problem, so how to solve this?

    Ha, I sometime wonder whether you are Indonesian. Our largest Moslem group NU is Kejawen Islam, and they did their best to ensure traditions are kept alive. Nu members do not harbor terrorists.

    -Malaysian Muslim are moderate and well educated, and set example for all Muslims all over the world.-

    Moderate than Indonesian’s?! You do not know anything about our Islam at all.



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