From fisherman's son to terrorist leader

Heavily armed police officers escorting Aman Abdurrahman, who founded the JAD terror network in 2014, to a court hearing in Jakarta last Friday. Aman is said to be Indonesia's most dangerous terrorist ideologue. Zainal Anshori prior to his trial in J
Zainal Anshori prior to his trial in Jakarta in February. The leader of terror network JAD was jailed for seven years for attempting to procure weapons from the Philippines, to be used in attacks in Indonesia.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Heavily armed police officers escorting Aman Abdurrahman, who founded the JAD terror network in 2014, to a court hearing in Jakarta last Friday. Aman is said to be Indonesia's most dangerous terrorist ideologue. Zainal Anshori prior to his trial in J
Heavily armed police officers escorting Aman Abdurrahman, who founded the JAD terror network in 2014, to a court hearing in Jakarta last Friday. Aman is said to be Indonesia's most dangerous terrorist ideologue. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

It was Zainal Anshori's noted ability to attract a militant crowd that made Indonesia's most dangerous terrorist ideologue Aman Abdurrahman interested in him.

When Aman set up terror network Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) in October 2014, the former student activist was appointed as the first provincial head of the organisation in East Java - a region where Zainal had many followers.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 20, 2018, with the headline 'From fisherman's son to terrorist leader'. Print Edition | Subscribe