If the Indonesian pesantren have drawn some suspicious attention in the past few years — not so much from the Indonesian authorities as from those of the Philippines, Singapore, Australia and the US, as well as from international journalists — this is mostly due to the fact that some highly visible terrorism suspects have a relation with one particular pesantren in Central Java, the PP Al-Mukmin in Ngruki near Solo. Ustad Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, who was one of the founders of this pesantren in the early 1960s and who returned there in 1999 after fourteen years spent in Malaysian exile, has been accused of being the spiritual leader of an underground movement known as Jama’ah Islamiyah, that is believed to be active all over Muslim Southeast Asia and to have carried out a large number of terrorist actions in Indonesia. Several of the perpetrators of the Bali bombing of 12 October 2002, which killed some two hundred people, were associated with a small pesantren in East Java that was established by Ngruki graduates.
Nothing could be more misleading than to extrapolate from ‘Ngruki’ to other Indonesian pesantren. PP Al-Mukmin and the handful of secondary pesantren that it has spawned do not teach terrorism, but both its curriculum and the general culture of this pesantren make it stand out from the mass of pesantren in Java and, for that matter, Indonesia and Southeast Asia as a whole. Before explaining what makes Al-Mukmin so different, it is necessary to give a summary overview of the range of pesantren presently existing.
The traditional pesantren: history
The beginnings of Indonesia’s pesantren tradition may not go back as far as has often been claimed. Certain scholars have claimed that the pesantren represents a continuation of similar schools with resident students in the pre-Islamic period. Islam began to spread among the indigenous population of Java in the fifteenth century, and seventeenth-century Dutch East India Company records mention a ‘priest school’ near Surabaya. However, the oldest pesantren still in existence, that of Tegalsari in East Java, was established in the late eighteenth century. An early nineteenth-century survey of indigenous education indicates that the pesantren then was not a widespread phenomenon and that religious education of a basic level took place informally in the mosque or in the private house of a man more learned than his surroundings. Most of the prestigious old pesantren do not date further back than the late nineteenth century, and many not even that far. Rather than imitating Hindu and Buddhist precursors, the nineteenth and early twentieth-century pesantrens appeared modeled on institutions with which their founders had become familiar during studies in Mecca or Cairo: the riwâq al-Jâwa at the Azhar, the halqa in the Masjid al-Haram, and especially Mecca’s modernized madrasas, the Indian-owned Sawlatiyya (est. 1874) and much later the Indonesian Dar al-`Ulum (1934). The methods of teaching followed those of Mecca and Cairo, and educational reforms in these centres (classrooms, graded classes, shifts in curriculum) gradually spread to Indonesian pesantrens. The curriculum was very similar to that in other Shafi`i regions: Shafi`i fiqh and ‘devotional’ hadith collections dominated, but in the course of the twentieth century the sahih collections of Bukhari and Muslim, Qur’anic commentaries and works on usul al-fiqh gradually became more prominent. The traditional pesantrens are also closely associated with various devotional practices, such as the visiting of graves, and with Islamic healing practices.
Influential reformist currents of the early twentieth century (notably Muhammadiyah, established in 1912, and Persatuan Islam or Persis, 1923) strongly opposed those devotional and ‘magical’ practices as well as the flexibility of fiqh, which they believed should be replaced by recourse to the Qur’an and Sunna. Religious puritanism in Indonesia received a boost when in 1924 Mecca was conquered by the Saudis, who soon began forbidding traditional devotional practices. Together with the abolition of the Caliphate by Mustafa Kemal in the same year, this convinced many pesantren ulama that their form of Islam was under threat, and they established an association to defend it, Nahdlatul Ulama. This was later to become the largest association of Indonesia and perhaps of the entire Muslim world, claiming tens of millions of members. In a recent nation-wide survey, 42% of the respondents indicated that they felt more or less represented by the NU, 12% by Muhammadiyah. The way the questions were framed suggests that those identifying with the NU meant not so much the organization itself as the religious attitudes it is associated with, including an openness to local tradition (and even syncretism), flexibility and tolerance, as opposed to the more principled and puritan, if not fundamentalist, attitudes associated with Muhammadiyah. In the organization NU itself, the pesantren remains the major institutional prop, and the ulama of major pesantrens remain the chief authorities.
Muhammadiyah’s distinguishing mark was the modern school, modeled on Christian missionary schools. Muhammadiyah people spoke of returning to the Qur’an and Sunna but most could only read them in translation — and their actual religious reading consisted of contemporary reformist writers. An effort to bridge the gap between Muhammadiyah religious attitude and traditional pesantren education resulted in the ‘modern pesantren’ at Gontor (established in 1926), which became the example on which later a range of other reformist-oriented schools modeled themselves. The founders of Gontor were not only inspired by reforms in al-Azhar and by the Anglo-Muslim college of Aligarh but also by Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy of education and his Santiniketan experiment. The didactic methods were those of the modern school, and students were obliged to communicate in either Arabic or English, in order to train them in active mastery of these languages. The religious teaching material continued to include the classical texts of Shafi`i fiqh, however. Gontor took its place between NU and Muhammadiyah; some of its graduates became teachers in NU pesantrens, others in Muhammadiyah schools. Several went on to establish their own pesantren on the Gontor model, or to reform an existing one with their Gontor experience guiding them.
One other pesantren that was to have significant influence on later radical thought was that established by Persis in Bangil. Persis was by far the most puritan of Indonesia’s reform movements and it developed a religious attitude close to that of Saudi Salafism, although not under any notable direct influence from Arabia. Unlike Muhammadiyah, it had little interest in welfare work and it concentrated on efforts to ‘correct’ religious belief and practice. The pesantren it established in Bangil in East Java was long the only one in Indonesia that was deliberately non-madhhab and focused very strongly on the study of hadith.
Integration in the national education system
After Indonesia’s independence, and especially since the transition to the ‘New Order’, when economic growth took on, pesantren education became more streamlined. There are still pesantren where students are tutored in the traditional way, reading out a text individually in front of the teacher, who occasionally makes a few corrections and gives some explanation, but most have also or exclusively classroom teaching now, with a fixed curriculum. And most offer teaching in general subjects besides classical Islamic texts. Many in fact teach a government-approved curriculum consisting of 70 percent general subjects and 30 percent religious subjects and are similar to government-run religious schools known as madrasah; they even can give the same diplomas. The difference between a pesantren and a state madrasah is that the pesantren is a boarding school (although some of the students may live near enough to go home after classes), and that most pesantren now teach primarily at secondary level. (A madrasah ibtida’iyah is like a primary school; madrasah tsanawiyah and `aliyah correspond with lower and higher secondary. Some pesantren offer higher levels that may be called mu`allimin, i.e. ‘teacher training’, or ma`had `ali, a name that suggests university level.) Moreover, in most pesantrens it is also possible to follow exclusively purely religious lessons.
A madrasah diploma does not give access to a proper university, but in independent Indonesia there was one Institute for Higher Islamic Studies that was open to madrasah graduates, and after 1965 the number of such institutes, then called State Institute of Islamic Studies (IAIN) rapidly increased, and there is now one in each provincial capital.
Through the madrasah curriculum and the IAINs, most pesantrens have become integrated in the national educational system and brought under government control. For a significant part of the population this has been a channel for social mobility. Pesantren education was cheaper than education in secular schools, whether private or state, and for some families a learning career in religious school was culturally more acceptable than one in a non-religious environment. Some successful IAIN graduates have been able to switch to a general university for postgraduate studies (mostly in the humanities or social sciences) and made a further career outside the religious sphere; many more found clerical or other jobs in the vast bureaucracy of the Department of Religious Affairs (which oversees all religious education, administers marriages, runs religious courts, organizes the pilgrimage, and administers the collection and distribution of zakat).
Involvement in community development and new discourses
Some pesantren deliberately refused to adopt the standard madrasah curriculum, for a number of different reasons. Some preferred to offer a solid religious curriculum, reading more and more difficult texts that was possible in the standard curriculum — or different religious texts altogether (non-madhhab or Salafi texts). Others did not wish their graduates to become civil servants and teach them more practical knowledge. In the 1970s and 1980s, several pesantrens experimented with teaching agricultural or technical skills besides religious subjects. The pesantren of Pabelan near Yogyakarta, belonging to the Gontor ‘family’, became famous for training its students in skills that could be useful when they returned to their village, and refused to give them diplomas in order to prevent them from becoming just civil servants (although this is what some of its best known alumni actually became); another in Bogor was geared to teach agriculture besides religion. V.S. Naipaul, who visited Pabelan in 1980, caustically asked what use it was to teach village boys to become village boys, but visitors like Ivan Illich were much more upbeat about this ‘alternative’ type of education. Many Indonesian social activists believed that it was precisely this that was needed to bring genuine development to the country and not just economic growth that failed to empower the poor.
In the late 1970s and 1980s, co-operation developed between development-oriented NGO activists and Pabelan and a few other pesantrens whose leading teachers had some social commitment and believed in development from below. The inspiration came again from Indian self-reliance movements, the experiments of Paulo Freire and writings of people like Ivan Illich. In New Order Indonesia, no parties or associations were allowed to organize down to the village level. Pesantrens were virtually the only non-state institutions actually functioning at the grassroots level, and therefore appealed to activists believing in bottom-up development besides or instead of the government’s top-down policies. Students of the Bandung Institute of Technology, prevented from direct political involvement due to new legislation following a wave of student protest in 1978, joined in activities to bring appropriate technology to the rural poor through the pesantren. Western aid agencies — first the German Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, later various other agencies — supported these efforts. In 1984, a major NU congress decided that ‘social activities’, meaning relief and development work, would be one of the organization’s top priorities, and it established several affiliated NGOs that were to engage in these activities. The following two decades saw a dramatic increase in NGO activity in and around the pesantren, which at least provided a considerable number of pesantren graduates with employment — although it is hard to assess the other positive impact of these activities.
The integration of the pesantren in the national education system had another interesting consequence: the emergence of a dynamic and rapidly growing circle of young Muslim intellectuals of pesantren background, who while studying at IAINs were exposed to a range of other intellectual influences, that included social science, philosophy, theology of liberation and Marxism. Partly overlapping with the environment of NGO activists, this diffuse group of young people, sometimes dubbed the ‘progressive traditionalists’, were one of the most surprising and interesting phenomena of the late 1980s and 1990s.
Islam against the New Order
The developments sketched so far took place in the most visible part of the religious spectrum, among groups and prominent individuals who were acceptable to, and themselves accepted in principle (though critically) the policies of the New Order government. There were other circles that had a more conflicting relationship with the regime and resented its policies of social and religious engineering. Two broad groups stand out. One consisted of the most outspoken leaders of the former Masyumi party, reformist Muslim in religious orientation, liberal democrats in political style. The party had clashed with Sukarno over the president’s authoritarian style and its leaders had taken part in an American-supported regional rebellion in the late 1950s. Suharto never allowed the party to resurface and mistrusted its most prominent leaders, the best known of whom was Mohammad Natsir. Natsir and friends established an association for da`wa, the Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia (DDII), intending to change society and the state through changing its individuals, turning them into better Muslims. The other group, much less visible yet, consisted of an underground network of Islamic activists who strove to turn Indonesia into an Islamic state. The network consisted of the remnants of the Darul Islam movement, which had from 1949 until 1962 been in control of parts of West Java, South Sulawesi and Acheh and as the ‘Islamic State and Army of Indonesia’ (NII/TII) challenged the Republican government. At the grassroots level, there had always been close relationships between the Masyumi following and that of Darul Islam, but the leadership of both had always been antagonistic: Masyumi considered the Republic as legitimate and Natsir once served as a prime minister; the Darul Islam resented Masyumi’s supporting military operations to destroy it.
The Darul Islam was a home-grown movement and never had international contacts worth mentioning. Masyumi had been more internationally oriented, and the DDII developed especially close contacts with the Arabian Peninsula. It was initially especially the ideas of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (many of whose activists had taken refuge in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states) that inspired them, and the DDII published several seminal texts in translation and was instrumental in introducing Brotherhood-style mobilizing on university campuses. Later, from the late 1980s onward, the Dewan came increasingly under Salafi (‘Wahhabi’) influence.
The pesantren at Gontor was the one that was ideologically closest to the DDII; like the Dewan itself, it developed increasingly close relations with the World Muslim League (Rabitat al-`Alam al-Islami), which may have contributed to a more ‘puritan’ attitude than in other pesantrens. It appears however that the DDII leadership was disappointed with Gontor because it produced alumni who adopted much more liberal religious views and politically accommodating attitudes than what the DDII had hoped for — Nurcholish Madjid, who in 1970 called for secularization and opposed the idea of Islamic parties, being the most prominent example. The Dewan took the initiative to establish a few pesantren that were more closely in line with what it deemed appropriate Islamic education, one of them, the pesantren Ulil Albab in Bogor, primarily serving students at that city’s agricultural university, another targeting a less sophisticated public in the Central Javanese city of Solo. The latter pesantren, Al-Mukmin, became better known by the name of the village on the edge of Solo to which it moved after some time, Ngruki.
Al-Mukmin was established in 1972 by the chairman of the Central Java branch of the DDII, Abdullah Sungkar. Among the co-founders was the presently well-known Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, then a young Gontor graduate. Al-Mukmin aimed to combine the best aspects of two models, Gontor for the teaching of Arabic, and the pesantren of Persis in Bangil for the teaching of shari`a. Sungkar, Ba’asyir and their colleagues were strongly influenced by Muslim Brotherhood thought, and this was reflected to some extent in their teaching of Islamic history and doctrine.  By the end of the decade, Sungkar and Ba’asyir joined the underground Darul Islam and became increasingly active in mobilizing radicals outside the pesantren. Using the organizational model of the Egyptian Brotherhood, they set up an underground structure of cells (usrah), members of which were recruited among the most committed of radical mosque activists but also among ordinary neighbourhood toughs. This underground organization was also loosely referred to as ‘Jama`ah Islamiyah’, an name that was later to gain a certain notoriety. Sungkar and Ba’asyir openly opposed certain New Order policies that they considered as un- or anti-Islamic; they spent some years in detention and decided to flee to Malaysia in 1985 when another arrest threatened. It was around this time that Sungkar first sent a handful of followers to Pakistan in order to take part in the Afghan jihad and gain guerrilla experience. Ba’asyir lived a frugal life as an itinerant teacher during the fifteen years he spent in Malaysia, and in the 1990s established a modest pesantren, Luqmanul Hakiem, in Johor.
Sungkar and Ba’asyir were both a source of pride and an embarrassment to Ngruki. Their radical reputation was not good for the school’s relation with local authorities and it inhibited the acquisition of students from outside the milieu that understood and supported the politics of these two teachers. But some of the teachers who stayed behind continued sharing their ideas, and contact with them was maintained over the years, through visits of students and graduates. The ICG reports emphasize the centrality of Ngruki in the Jama`ah Islamiyah network, but many of the JI activists involved in violent acts are not Ngruki alumni. There are indications that some activists were first recruited while studying in Ngruki, but it is not entirely clear what this recruitment meant.
Compared to many other pesantrens, Al-Mukmin is poor and its teachers lead a precarious life, earning a little money on the side as preachers. Most of the students are from families that cannot afford high fees; the pesantren appears to have few prosperous supporters. Because of its radical reputation, few would like to be seen financially supporting it. The pesantren carefully maintains the network of alumni, because it is though this network that new students are recruited. A few alumni have established, or joined, modest pesantrens themselves. One of these, Al-Islam in Lamongan, East Java, gained a sudden notoriety because three of the Bali bombers were brothers of its founder. However, this founder was not himself a Ngruki graduate; one of the brothers, Mukhlas or Ali Gufron, was a Ngruki graduate but, more importantly, he was also an Afghanistan veteran. The three brothers had spent time together as migrant workers in Malaysia and had visited the pesantren Luqmanul Hakiem, where Mukhlas was also a teacher.
The Hidayatullah ‘network’
The 2003 ICG report implicates a number of other pesantrens in the Jama`ah Islamiyah, notably the ‘Hidayatullah network’. Suspected JI activists spent brief periods in pesantrens of this network. The pesantren Hidayatullah of Balikpapan in East Kalimantan is no doubt an interesting and remarkably successful institution. It was officially established in 1976 and has meanwhile almost 150 branches all over the Archipelago. This network is closely connected to the Bugis diaspora — the Bugis are a seafaring ethnic group originating from South Sulawesi — and appears to have a link with what remains of the Bugis Darul Islam network. However, since its founding this pesantren network has made efforts to maintain good relations with the government. The first pesantren was officially opened by the then Minister of Religious Affairs, A. Mukti Ali. Eight years later, the pesantren received a prestigious government prize, the Kalpataru prize for environmental conservation, presented by President Suharto himself. Later, president Habibie and Megawati’s vice-president Hamzah Haz also made official visits to this pesantren. It frequently receives foreign visitors. Daughter pesantrens have been established wherever there is a Bugis diaspora community, from Acheh to Papua.
The pesantren gained a wide renown for a magazine it has published since 1988, Suara Hidayatullah, and which at its peak achieved a circulation of 52,000 copies. The magazine reads like a broadsheet of the Islamist International; it is militant, gives information on all the jihads being fought in the world, is fiercely anti-Jewish and anti-Christian, and has interviews with and sympathetic articles on all radical Islamic groups of the country.
The most posh pesantren of the country is Al-Zaytun in Indramayu, which in the past few years has drawn a lot of attention and has been accused of heterodox practices. Like Hidayatullah, it appears to have close connections to the underground Darul Islam movement, in this case that of West Java and, again like Hidayatullah, it has excellent relations with certain powerful people. Although it has come under attack for alleged heterodoxies and for being financed through dubious activities, it appears to enjoy such strong protection that it is immune from all criticism. The pesantren is so wealthy that there has been some speculation as to the source of its wealth: was it the coffers of the Darul Islam movement, or money from the Suharto family? The evidence in the public domain suggests that both may be true, at least to some extent.
 This pesantren was presented as the central hub in an Indonesian Al-Qa`ida network in a report by the International Crisis Group, "Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia: the case of the 'Ngruki network' in Indonesia". Jakarta/Brussels: International Crisis Group, 2002.
 Claude Guillot, "Le role historique des perdikan ou "villages francs": le cas de Tegalsari", Archipel 30, 1985, 137-162; J.A. van der Chys, "Bijdragen tot de geschiedenis van het inlandsch onderwijs", Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 14, 1864, 212-323. The historical evidence is surveyed in: Martin van Bruinessen, "Pesantren and kitab kuning: Continuity and change in a tradition of religious learning", in: W. Marschall (ed.), Texts from the islands: Oral and written traditions of Indonesia and the Malay world [Ethnologica Bernensia 4], Berne: The University of Berne Institute of Ethnology, 1994, pp. 121-146.
 On the books studied in the pesantren, and the shifts in the curriculum see: Martin van Bruinessen, "Kitab kuning: books in Arabic script used in the pesantren milieu", Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 146, 1990, 226-269. There is a striking similarity to the curriculum in Kurdish madrasas, as described in: Zeynelabidin Zinar, "Medrese education in Kurdistan", Les annales de l'autre Islam 5, 1998, 39-58.
 Martin van Bruinessen, "Muslims of the Dutch East Indies and the caliphate question", Studia Islamika (Jakarta) vol.2 no.3, 1995, 115-140.
 Saiful Mujani and R. William Liddle, "Indonesia's approaching elections: politics, Islam, and public opinion", Journal of Democracy 15/1, 2004, 109-123.
 Lance Castles, "Notes on the Islamic school at Gontor", Indonesia 1, 1966, 30-45; Ali Saifullah HA, "Daarussalaam, pondok modern Gontor", in: M. D. Rahardjo (ed.), Pesantren dan pembaharuan, Jakarta: LP3ES, 1974, pp. 134-154; Mahrus As`ad, "Ma`had al-Juntûr bayna'l-tajdîd wa'l-taqlîd", Studia Islamika vol.3, no.4, 1996, 165-193.
 On Persis and its pesantren, see: Howard M. Federspiel, Islam and ideology in the emerging Indonesian state: the Persatuan Islam (PERSIS), 1923 to 1957, Leiden: Brill, 2001. Cf. my review in International Journal of Middle East Studies 35 (2003), 171-173.
 M. Saleh Widodo, "Pesantren Darul Fallah: eksperimen pesantren pertanian", in: M. D. Rahardjo (ed.), Pesantren dan pembaharuan, Jakarta: LP3ES, 1974, pp. 121-133; M. Habib Chirzin, "Impak dan pengaruh kegiatan pondok Pabelan sebagai lembaga pendidikan dan pengembangan masyarakat desa", in: (ed.), Pesantren: Profil kyai, pesantren dan madrasah [=Warta-PDIA No.2], Jakarta: Balai Penelitian dan Pengembangan Departemen Agama R.I., 1981, pp. 69-78.
 V.S. Naipaul, Among the believers, an Islamic journey, New York: Knopf, 1981.
 M. Dawam Rahardjo (ed.), Pergulatan dunia pesantren: membangun dari bawah, Jakarta: P3M, 1985; Manfred Ziemek, Pesantren dalam perubahan sosial, Jakarta: P3M, 1986.
 Martin van Bruinessen, NU: tradisi, relasi-relasi kuasa, pencarian wacana baru, Yogyakarta: LKiS, 1994.
 Djohan Effendi, "Progressive traditionalists: the emergence of a new discourse in Indonesia's Nahdlatul Ulama during the Abdurrahman Wahid era", Ph.D. thesis, Deakin University, Department of Religious Studies, 2000; Laode Ida, Kaum progresif dan sekularisme baru NU, Jakarta: Erlangga, 2004.
 C. van Dijk, Rebellion under the banner of Islam: the Darul Islam in Indonesia, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1981; Holk H. Dengel, Darul-Islam. Kartosuwirjos Kampf um einen islamischen Staat in Indonesien, Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1986.
 Asna Husin, "Philosophical and sociological aspects of da`wah. A study of the Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia", Ph.D. thesis, Columbia University, 1998; Lukman Hakiem and Tamsil Linrung, Menunaikan panggilan risalah: dokumentasi perjalanan 30 tahun Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia, Jakarta: Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia, 1997; Martin van Bruinessen, "Genealogies of Islamic radicalism in Indonesia", South East Asia Research 10 no.2, 2002, 117-154.
 See the comments to this effect in: Kamal Hassan, Muslim intellectual response to New Order modernization in Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa, 1980.
 The history of this pesantren is sketched in: Farha Abdul Kadir Assegaff, "Peran perempuan Islam (penelitian di Pondok Pesantren Al Mukmin, Sukoharjo, Jawa Tengah)", Tesis S-2, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Program Studi Sosiologi, Jurusan Ilmu-Ilmu Sosial, 1995; Zuly Qodir, Ada apa dengan pesantren Ngruki?, Bantul: Pondok Edukasi, 2003; ES. Soepriyadi, Ngruki & jaringan terorisme: melacak jejak Abu Bakar Ba'asyir dan jaringannya dari Ngruki sampai bom Bali, Jakarta: P.T. Al-Mawardi Prima, 2003.
 A list of books taught in Ngruki in the mid-1990s mentions Sa`id Hawwa’s Jundullah as one of the textbooks for doctrine (Qodir, Ada apa…, p. 52), and a former student recounts that the distinguishing of al-walâ’ wa-l-barâ’ was at the core of the curriculum (Soepriyadi, Ngruki, p. 24-5).
 The best published study of this Usrah network is: Abdul Syukur, Gerakan Usroh di Indonesia: peristiwa Lampung 1989, Yogyakarta: Ombak, 2003. A good early overview, based on court documents of trials against arrested Usrah members, is: Tapol, Indonesia: Muslims on trial, London: Tapol/Indonesian Human Rights Campaign, 1987. There is much useful information in a thesis by a Ngruki graduate: Muh. Nursalim, "Faksi Abdullah Sungkar dalam gerakan NII era Orde Baru (studi terhadap pemikiran dan harakah politik Abdullah Sungkar)", Tesis Magister, Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta, Program Pascasarjana, 2001. See also Bruinessen, “Genealogies” and International Crisis Group, “Al Qaeda”.
 Nursalim, “Faksi Abdullah Sungkar”; a detailed overview of Sungkar followers who went to Pakistan during the 1980s in: International Crisis Group, "Jemaah Islamiyah in South East Asia: damaged but still dangerous", Jakarta: International Crisis Group, 2003.
 One of my informants is a former student in Al-Mukmin, who was recruited into the NII by an older peer — not by a teacher! — in 1993, when Sungkar and Ba’asyir were living in Malaysia. Another frequent visitor of the pesantren told me that promising students would be singled out for special treatment. They would be woken up in the middle of the night and told to perform the nightly prayers, after which they would be given special instruction, presumably of a religious nature but secret.
 International Crisis Group, “Jemaah Islamiyah”, p. 26-27, uncritically repeated in various other reports.
 The Islamist activist Umar Abduh has published three books denouncing this pesantren: Umar Abduh, Membongkar gerakan sesat NII di balik pesantren mewah Al Zaytun, Jakarta: Lembaga Penelitian & Pengkajian Islam, 2001; Umar Abduh, Pesantren Al-Zaytun sesat? Investigasi mega proyek dalam Gerakan NII, Jakarta: Darul Falah, 2001; Umar Abduh, Al Zaytun Gate. Investigasi mengungkap misteri. Dajjal Indonesia membangun negara impian Iblis, Jakarta: Lembaga Pusat Data & Informasi (LPDI) bekerjasama dengan SIKAT & AL BAYYINAH, 2002. A former(?) Darul Islam activist, Al Chaidar, claims that much of the money for the pesantren was collected by the Ninth Regional Command of the NII, which carried out robberies and other unorthodox fundraising activities. He also accused the movement of heterodox beliefs and practices: Al Chaidar, Sepak terjang KW. IX Abu Toto Syech A.S. Panji Gumilang menyelewengkan NKA-NII pasca S.M. Kartooewirjo, Jakarta: Madani Press, 2000. The Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) carried out an independent investigation, that found some of the accusations founded: Majelis Ulama Indonesia Team Peneliti Ma'had Al-Zaytun, "Laporan lengkap hasil penelitian Ma'had al-Zaytun Haurgeulis Indramayu", Jakarta: Majelis Ulama Indonesia, 2002.