Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Indonesian police have frozen the bank accounts of a leading charity that they say is funding the activities of Jamaah Islamiyah (JI), a major terror group in Southeast Asia.
"The accounts belonging to Baitul Maal Abdurrahman Bin Auf (BM ABA) were used for the global jihad program of the Jamaah Islamiyah group," Aswin Siregar, operations chief of the police counterterrorism unit Densus 88, said on Nov. 2.
The charity, established in 2004 and which has several branches around the country, is known for helping orphanages and Islamic boarding houses.
However, police claim this is a cover to entice people into donating to the charity, with some of the money raised going to the terror group.
In 2019 alone JI received US$1.5 million from various charity foundations, including BM ABA, according to police.
The money was collected through charity boxes, some 20,000 of which were confiscated across the country last year.
The freezing of the charity's bank account followed the arrest of its chairman, who was not named, in Lampung province on Oct. 31.
Police later revealed the individual has been JI's chairman since 2018 and a member of the group since 1997.
JI has been involved in several deadly attacks in Indonesia, including attacks on churches.
Stanislaus Riyanta, an intelligence analyst from the University of Indonesia, told UCA News on Nov. 3 that there were probably at least 2,000 JI members in Indonesia and more than 6,000 sympathizers.